Remote working is on the rise – the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 13.7% of the UK workforce now work from home in some capacity.
This infographic from Sage highlights the growth of flexible working in the UK…
If you’re one of the 4.2 million people in the UK who currently enjoys the benefits of working from home, you’ll appreciate how handy it is to have such a flexible approach to office – enabling you to fit your work around your lifestyle, and all but eliminating the daily commute, saving both time and money.
Remote working can be beneficial for employers too, who can cut overheads by having fewer staff on site. The downside for you as an employee is these costs then fall into your lap, meaning the money you save on the commute can quickly be eaten up by your energy bills.
And more people than ever before could be working from home during the next few weeks, as a Twitter poll from ConferenceCall.co.uk, showed how over a third of workers felt they would definitely be working from home more often during the school summer holoidays - and that could mean even higher energy bills.
At UK Power, we’re here to help you save money on your energy bills, so check out our top tips on saving energy while working from home…
There’s a real temptation to work longer hours when working from home, not least because the time usually spent on the commute can now be spent at your laptop – meaning these extra hours get added to your electricity bill.
So try to work a bit smarter and fit more work into fewer hours – banning yourself from social media, cutting down the amount of time you spend checking emails, and stepping away from the screen on your lunchbreak, can all have a dramatic impact on productivity, meaning you might be able to cut an hour or so off your working day.
Not only will this save energy, it’ll free up more time for you to do something less boring instead.
If you cram your home office into a tiny box room with little or no natural light, make the move to the brightest room in the house and throw the curtains wide open. Letting in natural light will not only stop you wasting energy and money on powering desk lamps and overhead lights, it might also improve your mood and boost productivity.
Working from home during the winter months can be a bit of a chilling experience, but try to resist the temptation to turn the heating up and instead put on some extra layers to keep warm. If you do need to put the heating on, try to limit the amount of time it’s on, and only heat the rooms you’ll be using.
Distractions can be a big problem when working from home, particularly if you’ve got some particularly mind-numbing tasks to work through, so unplug anything that could act as a distraction, such as television sets, games consoles, and extra monitors.
Then unplug anything that is not in use, such as printers, phone chargers and anything that is sat there on standby and needlessly sucking up energy.
In addition, plugging into an energy saving power strip can help save energy as it regulates energy going to particular devices – for instance, it allows you to use your computer while cutting standby power going to your printer.
If you’re using old office equipment, such as massive monitors, desktop PCs and printers, consider trading them in for more energy efficient models. And if you can ditch the desktop for a laptop, your new hardware will use about 80 less electricity and mean you can take your work on the move. Speaking of which…
One of the most effective ways to save energy when working from home is to not work at home at all. Working from a laptop means anywhere that has an internet connection can be used as an office – if you’re using a public network, always make sure you connect via a virtual private network (VPN) to make sure your connection is secure and data is safe. And if you're worried about missing out on important meetings, try a conference call or video conferencing to keep in touch with colleagues. See here for the best VPNs for iPhone and iPad.
Working from your local coffee shop means you can get away from your usual surroundings to soak up the atmosphere, and electricity, somewhere else – just make sure all the money you’ll save isn’t then spent on coffee and cakes.
Switching to a cheaper energy tariff is one of the simplest ways to save money – it may not necessarily help you save energy, but it can help you save up to £580 a year on your energy bills. Check out our home energy and business energy pages to see how much you can save.
If you’re concerned your energy usage might increase even more during the school holidays, check out 6 easy ways to save energy during the school summer holidays.
Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.