How to make working from home work – for you, your organisation and the planet

Justin Sutton-Parker - Computer Science PhD Researcher MBA, Sustainability and Leadership

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Published: 16 September 2020

This Article was Written by: Justin Sutton-Parker - Computer Science PhD Researcher MBA, Sustainability and Leadership

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This article first appeared in our I.T. special issue of of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 16 September 2020. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

We have all spent more time working from home than we had perhaps expected at the start of 2020.

Some months later, we are adjusting to this new way of working; one positive is that, from an environmental standpoint, the impact has been felt.

Earth Overshoot Day was three weeks later this year due to a lack of commuting and travel in general. As a collective, we almost made it to September before our anthropogenic consumption outstripped the Earth’s annual resources.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year – and certainly to the next – our ability to make the most of our work resources will be key to building a sustainable future as we begin to find a new balance between office and home.

These resources will include not only us as employees, but also the energy that powers productivity and the hardware and software that make work possible.

Strategies for impact

If we can achieve more while consuming less, then we would help to move Earth Overshoot Day each time we set to work, wherever we are.

Lakeside’s 4,000 customers use the digital workspace analytics company daily to excel in digital experience monitoring. They get help with measuring resources and are able to focus on improved efficiency.

Accessing 10,000+ data points on I.T. performance and usage from every endpoint, such as a laptop or desktop computer, I.T. visibility is improved.

By analysing the data, Lakeside can quantify end-user experience and provide optimal end-user computing performance that boosts productivity by flagging priority problems that can be remediated by I.T. or automatically through Lakeside’s AI and automation framework.

Identifying over-provisioning, reducing the volume of I.T. incidents and optimising I.T. operations can also reduce costs – not just through limiting downtime and increasing performance, but importantly also by actively tuning systems to use less power.

‘Clearly sustainability is critical in how and why we move forward digitally. Personally I believe that it is the responsibility of all of us to build, test and use technology responsibly. As Robert Swann said of climate change: “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it…”’

JACQUELINE DE ROJAS CBE
President of techUK

Lakeside’s cloud dashboards highlight devices that, if managed better, could reduce their energy consumption while achieving the same output. Scale this company-wide and immediately resources that cause greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be refined to have a lower annual carbon footprint.

The data are so compelling that the I.T. sustainability experts at PX3 use Lakeside to calculate device emissions. Incorporating unique application, environmental algorithms and emissions equivalents, the team produces in-depth assessments that enable organisations to create baselines and improvement strategies for I.T.-related GHG impact.

Assessing I.T. emissions

PX3 co-founder and CIO Ewen Anderson says, ‘Lakeside’s ability to report thousands of data points from incredibly short intervals allows PX3 to build a picture of I.T. energy consumption across business infrastructures regardless of location.

‘Additional contextual measurements and ratios generated by unique research enables an incredibly accurate assessment of I.T. GHG emissions.

‘We use this not only to account for the environmental impact using international protocols but also to highlight, through our application, analogous equivalents that people will relate to in an instant.

‘These include representations such as vehicle miles per capita or forest acres required to sequester a company’s I.T. pollution.

‘In the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals that drive our business ethics, partnering with Lakeside is a key ingredient to delivering on number 17: partnership for the goals’.

When you examine what your new way of working looks like, take time to think about efficiency and sustainability. Consider that Lakeside analytics can offer a vision of I.T. so rich that we can certainly make working from home better for you, your organisation and the planet.

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