Hybrid working ‘allows organisations to cut energy use by a fifth’

Hybrid working has enabled UK businesses to cut energy usage by a fifth as they replace large city centre office space with smaller, more energy efficient spaces including flexible workspaces, according to a new report from IWG, whose brands including Spaces and Regus.  surveyed more than 500 leaders and facilities managers at businesses that have adopted hybrid working policies. The findings revealed that average energy consumption in those companies has fallen by 19 percent since the introduction of hybrid working policies, benefiting both the environment and their bottom line.

The study, undertaken ahead of World Earth Day (22nd April), demonstrates significant environmental and economic benefits for businesses transitioning away from expensive city centre office spaces towards hybrid working models which utilise smaller, regional offices and co-working buildings in strategic locations close to where employees live.

Almost half of those surveyed (44 percent) have reduced their traditional office space by a quarter (25 percent), leading to reduced energy consumption and operational costs. A further 19 percent have achieved even greater reductions, slashing office space by 26-50 percent. A resounding 84 percent said hybrid working has been key to reduction of their company’s overall energy usage and carbon footprint, with even greater reduction predicted as 79 percent of businesses said they intend to explore additional avenues for reducing energy consumption, such as downsizing their existing office spaces or facilitating access to flexible workspaces.

Smaller, regional flexible workspaces boast higher occupancy rates and consequently lower emissions per employee. An earlier IWG survey showed that only one in five would commute more than 30 minutes daily, while 60 per cent want to work within 15 minutes of home.

A previous environmental impact study conducted by IWG and ARUP found that working closer to home can slash carbon emissions by up to 70 percent in Manchester and 49 percent in London, primarily due to reductions in building and transport emissions.