A new green calculator from O2 could help companies assess the savings that flexible working could bring, in terms of money and emissions.

When utilised correctly, not only could flexible working result in benefits for employees, it could also see organizations saving a large sum of money every year. On top of this, it could also be key to helping businesses reduce their carbon footprint. 

O2 has joined forces with the Carbon Trust to launch a new Green Savings Calculator, which is designed to help organisations identify ways that they could cut down on emissions and save money by utilising long-term flexible working. It is estimated that the calculator could save £53bn for UK plc. 

The calculator uses information about a business’ practices, such as office space and travel, to identify the ways that introducing flexible working could save the company money and reduce carbon emissions. It has been built and tested by an O2 initiative called ‘The Lab’, using data from the Carbon Trust.

Initial testing of the calculator showed that an average company with 100 employees could save around £262,000 on travel, energy and office-related costs annually simply by encouraging employees to work from home two days a week. On top of this, introducing long-term flexible working could reduce an organisation’s carbon emissions by 53 tonnes every year. 

For larger companies of 1,000 employees, the yearly savings could be as much as £2.6 million, with CO2 emissions cut by 534 tonnes. On top of this, regular flexible working could save employees 85,196 hours in terms of commuting and business-related travel. 

Currently, a beta trial of the calculator is taking place, with a number of large companies – including Hitachi Capital UK – signing up for it. It is hoped that the calculator will help organisations better navigate the current challenging economic climate by highlighting savings they can make. 

With so many people having to work from home since lockdown in March and with no current clear plans regarding a return to the workplace, it seems as though flexible working is here to stay. This calculator will not only help companies to see the financial and environmental benefits of implementing it on a permanent basis, it will ensure they are able to find the best option to suit their operations. 

However, companies should also be ready for what it means to introduce flexible working as a long-term option, as this way of working does bring challenges. As such, looking at introducing an agile working policy is the best option to ensure managers and employees have the correct guidance when working flexibility and that the best processes are implemented.