The International Energy Agency wants you to work from home to help curb oil demand and avoid a dangerous supply crunch

  • Working from home could help curb oil use by hundreds of thousands of barrels per day, the IEA says.
  • The intergovernmental energy watchdog is suggesting remote work as one of 10 steps that could help stave off a dangerous oil supply shock.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to lower supplies in oil markets with peak demand season just around the corner.

Remote work isn’t just good for retaining employees; it could also help us curb our oil consumption by hundreds of thousands of barrels per day at a time when the world faces the risk of a disastrous supply shock.

The International Energy Agency said working from home is one of several ways countries can cut back on oil and help keep a dangerous supply crunch at bay. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has threatened the global oil supply not long before peak demand season is set to begin.

On Friday, the IEA laid out a 10-point plan to reduce oil use and help ease pain at the pump as gas prices soar to record heights. The intergovernmental agency said the plan would cut oil demand by 2.7 million barrels a day within four months, roughly equivalent to the oil demand of all of the cars in China, if it’s fully carried out in advanced economies.

“As a result of Russia’s appalling aggression against Ukraine, the world may well be facing its biggest oil supply shock in decades, with huge implications for our economies and societies,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a press release.

“IEA Member Countries have already stepped in to support the global economy with an initial release of millions of barrels of emergency oil stocks, but we can also take action on demand to avoid the risk of a crippling oil crunch,” Birol added.

Besides working from home up to three days a week, which the agency said could produce oil savings of 500,000 barrels per day, other steps include reducing speed limits on highways, implementing “car-free Sundays” in cities, and making public transportation more affordable.

In addition, the IEA recommended carpooling more often, promoting efficient driving for freight trucks, using high-speed and night trains over planes, avoiding business air travel where possible, alternating private car access to roads in big cities, and supporting the adoption of electric vehicles.