Climate change and COVID-19: Is working from home sustainable for the environment?

Vishal Rana, Syed Mohyuddin

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationAIB Review - scholarly output

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If there is any silver lining (even if temporary) regarding one of the biggest crises human civilisation has faced in recent times (COVID-19), it has been a positive impact on climate. The crisis has forced millions of knowledge workers to work from home. A knowledge worker, as defined by Peter Drucker in his book The Landmarks of Tomorrow (1959), is a high-level worker who applies theoretical and analytical knowledge, acquired through formal training, to develop products and services.

Working from home during Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the climate conditions in cities like Beijing (Image 1 below) and Los Angeles (Image 2 below). These and many other places in the world have witnessed less air pollution and clearer skies. Professor Kingham from the University of Canterbury in a recent article has discussed how people are staying home, driving less and taking fewer flights. The office executives who used to fly for business meetings have now realised that many of these meetings can be as effective through virtual tools as face to face.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationAIB Review
PublisherAustralian Institute of Business
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2020


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