2.5 hours of commuting time could be saved daily by drivers if they use a remote working location – NoCo and Trinity College Dublin research

We were delighted to team up with Trinity College Dublin in order to conduct our own research on the effects of remote working, on employees lives but also the wider impact on the environment itself.

Over 540 participants took part in our survey. They answered different questions about their commuting habits in order to ascertain how long people spent travelling to and from their workplaces and examine the environmental impact of these commutes.

Some of the key takeaway points were:

 

  • 70% of people would consider moving their home location if they could remote work
  • 38% of people said spending more time in their local community would be a major benefit of working remotely
  • Almost 80% of people have considered selling their car based on the potential ability to work remotely
  • Remote working three days a week for a year could reduce a drivers CO2 emissions by approx. 670kg
  • 80% of people believe it’s possible for their employer to implement a hybrid work scheme post-Covid 19
  • When travelling to an office, 59% of people left home before 7:30am. When travelling to a remote location – 76% left after 7:30am

Drivers could save an average of 2.5 hours of commuting time every day by using a remote working location. Our research revealed interesting insights into how remote working hubs are impacting our commuting patterns and our carbon footprint, and also showed that 70% of people would consider changing their home location as a result of the ability to work remotely.

A key focus of the research was to measure the potential carbon emissions savings as well as travel time savings. The results indicate that a switch to working from a remote working hub for just three days a week could save a driver up to 14 days of travel time a year, saving approx. 670kg of CO2. Public transport users would save almost 11 days of commuting time, saving the equivalent of 2.19kg CO2 from these public transport trips.

Almost 80% of people would consider selling their car if remote working was an option. When travelling to their place of work, 59% of people left home before 7.30am however nearly 80% of people left after 7.30am when travelling to a remote location. 49% said they would consider buying an e-bike for their new trip to their local remote working hub and 14% said they would consider buying a push bicycle. 15% said they are now considering selling a car as a result of this new work dynamic.

38% of people said the ability to spend more time in their local community would be a major benefit if they could switch over to working from a remote hub. NoCo’s service has the potential to boost local economies and encourage more community engagement in towns across Ireland, as well as providing the more rural areas with the opportunity to prosper and grow, both economically and socially.

Here at NoCo, thanks to the partnership with The National Association of Community Enterprise Centres’ (NACEC) and Enterprise Ireland, we have now become Ireland’s largest workspace network provider with remote working hubs in over 350 locations nationwide. Our service enables companies to connect their team to a network of ‘close to home’ workspaces across Ireland via one membership, one monthly invoice and one point of contact.

While the study indicates a clear desire to have the option of remote working (80% of people believe it’s possible for their employer to implement a hybrid work scheme post-Covid 19), and highlights the potential environmental benefits that could come from it (on average those using a remote hub are travelling 60km less per day), it also revealed some issues that need to be addressed:

 

  • 78% of people said they experienced feelings of isolation as a result of working from home
  • 85% of people experienced Wi-Fi and general connectivity issues while working from home
  • 84% of people experienced problems with inadequate home office space or equipment

Brian Moran, the co-founder of NoCo, said: “We are delighted to have worked alongside Trinity College Dublin to carry out this research. The slowdown of economic activities during the pandemic resulted in significant improvements to air quality and GHG emissions. At NoCo, we are preparing for the future which means addressing climate change. None of us can afford to ignore our carbon footprints anymore and we believe that the shift to remote working will help to meet Ireland’s national carbon targets, aswell as provide people with reduced commuting time and a better work/life balance”.

Prof Brian Caulfield, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, said: “Our research clearly shows that remote working hubs may play an even more substantial role than we thought in reducing carbon emissions in the transport field from commuting. From a personal-time perspective, the findings of the survey demonstrate that remote workers are able to spend significantly more time at home and substantially less time commuting”. 

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