Every few years, our workforce completely reinvents itself. We have seen the advent of a large uptake of women joining the workforce, computers becoming a necessary part of work and now the fourth industrial revolution has brought about the age of automation and artificial intelligence.
Employees became enamoured with the call of self-sufficiency and not being tied to their desks, but rather working for themselves. With the ability to work remotely from anywhere in the world – ‘the gig’ economy took hold. Staying connected without a physical presence while utilising cloud-based technology saw free-lancing and outsourcing become a new normal.
The workplace had begun to shift to the home office. Leaders were encouraging increased flexibility with their employees, allowing them to work remotely and rethink the 9-5. With the onset of COVID-19 the home office became a necessary staple, rather than flexible arrangement. As health officials called for ‘non-essentials’ to work remotely, businesses were forced to transition online entirely to enable productivity from the comfort of your home.
Since the turn of the century corporate awareness of their climate change responsibilities has continued to grow. Businesses are looking for avenues to achieve their net-zero environmental targets. Across corporate sectors, there has been laser focus on carbon-offsetting buildings, supplies, energy consumption, aligning with green providers, employee commutes and waste practices.
As employees of an organisation, this ensured we are not contributing to climate change during our 9-5. Then how do we ensure we don’t go backwards in the fight against climate change, when almost a quarter of the workforce is predicted to continue working remotely post COVID-19?
One way to ensure you not only remain on track for being carbon neutral but also keep your power bills in check is by going renewable.
Karl Brown, a renewable energy enthusiast and executive is igniting the way that ensures we remain in full stead towards climate reform. Mr Brown is the founder and CEO of leading solar company, InStyle Solar and is committed to making renewable energy affordable and accessible for all Australians.
Winner of Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 and third on the Australian Financial Review’s Fast 100, Mr Brown says converting to solar energy makes helping the planet financially viable.
“We start by teaching each of our customers how to read their electricity bill and understand their power consumption,” says Mr Brown.
“Put simply; you don’t have to rely on traditional ways of producing energy which ultimately harms the environment. Solar puts the homeowner in control and enables them to produce their own.” power.
Having worked in corporate sales for many years, Mr Brown decided to pursue his passion and interest in renewables and had a keen eye for opportunities in the market.
“I started looking for products that I believed in as well as growth industries – the one that made the most sense was solar energy and the renewables sector.”
“As a salesperson, nothing feels better than selling a product you believe in. Solar is a product that is great for the environment and saves people much money and something every home should have – so it was a no-brainer,” he says.
Mr Brown believes Australians are afforded a unique opportunity to uptake solar and help stop climate change.
“Australia as a whole is fantastic for solar, particularly in Queensland, we have great solar production. This means we get more out of the same sized solar systems than other states due to our optimal weather conditions and grid capacity. Having said that, our energy usage is also higher due to factors such as the use of air-conditioning,” says Mr Brown.
Many consumers, however, remain hesitant to convert to solar, yet Mr Brown is determined to mainstream solar energy for a new workforce”
“There are many reasons why people are unsure of solar; one would be the poor way in which solar was originally rolled out. The industry had limited standards and regulations around solar installations and companies were charging exorbitant prices across the country.
“Due to these two factors, several early adopters bought poor quality systems that were way too small for their property – _meaning they experienced very little savings. However, at Instyle Solar, we think the simple reason is education. Most people have never heard of the brands or understand the technical specifications and just want to know what their solar system can save them.”
Mr Brown says that the future of solar can only be bright as COVID-19 brings about a new workforce that can benefit the environment and homeowner’s pockets.
“I see solar systems being made compulsory on new homes and storage (i.e. batteries) finally getting to a stage where it makes financial sense to the average homeowner,”
So if your daily commute is going to continue to be from your lounge room to the home office, consider how you can start reducing your carbon footprint and make decisions that are not only good for your hip pocket but the environment.