After WFG now WFH and then WFC!
I consider that PM Modi’s ‘Mission LiFE’ – LifeStyle for Environment is an enabling and essential tool for achieving SDGs and carbon neutrality.
An example of one such LifeStyles change that has emerged during the COVID pandemic is Work From Home (WFH)! WFH is a practice that was used rarely but then emerged to protect humanity from CORONA virus. It so happened that students and officegoers realised its multiple benefits including those for the environment and have now embraced it even after the pandemic is over.
Call it “telework”, “work from home” or “remote work”, the terms have now become street-talk. WFG, WFH and WFC all have tremendous environmental benefits too. It has now become a lifestyle change for nearly 30% of the global office-going population and most of the students. It stands to become a game-changer in the way we work.
But let us go back for a few decades. Remember the likes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs? They practiced WFG- Work from the Garage. That resulted in triggering the digital and computer revolution. When I worked in Paris a decade back, I heard about WFC -Work From Café, practised mainly by journalists and even famous authors.
WFG, WFH and WFC all have tremendous environmental benefits too. Less travel by two-wheelers, cars and buses means reducing carbon footprints and mitigating climate change. The transport sector contributes to 25 % of global GHG emissions. WFH would mitigate those emissions. With reduced use of transport to go to work and campus air pollution is also minimised. As per one estimate, globally 80 billion Km of transportation is avoided compared to a year from the pre-pandemic level.
WFH, even for a few days a week, has been perhaps the most seminal change to lifestyle after the introduction of desktops, laptops and smartphones. Students travelling to the campus would be the first to align with online classes that would set a trend for them for WFH.
A decade from now these students may look back to the pre-pandemic norm of five-day weeks on the campus and in the multi-storeyed offices the same way my generation looks at the old photographs of antique-looking classrooms and offices full of people with fashions of a bygone era! After all, modernity is not always environment-damaging! END