Future of Work
April 17, 2023

The Greenest Commute is the Road Not Taken: Scoop’s Updated Mission to Decarbonize How We Work

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Brook Porter
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Commuting has a huge impact on the environment. 30% of all vehicle miles traveled in the US are from commuting, and 80% of all commuters drive alone to and from work every day. In the Bay Area alone, 172M miles are logged daily by vehicles, with Los Angeles and New York logging twice as many miles in total.

We originally invested in Scoop to address this segment of the transportation sector and to reduce this impact. In our original investment thesis, we postulated that if wildly successful, Scoop could increase the total fraction of US workers that carpool to ~30%. If we assume the average carpool has 2 people - one driver and one rider, 30% of workers carpooling is equivalent to 15% of workers not commuting at all. Reducing commute traffic by 15% was an incredibly ambitious goal, one that could deliver between 300,000 and 400,000MT of CO2 reduction per year.

Today Scoop is publishing their inaugural Flex Report, an analysis of the largest repository of data assembled to-date on hybrid work requirements. It’s a collection of data on over 4,000 companies across 25,000 offices, employing over 100 million people. The conclusions are noteworthy. 

While nearly half of the companies surveyed still require full in-office attendance, the other half is remarkably flexible on their policies. 8% are fully remote, while 43% are flexible on policies but average between 2-3 days per week remote. If we take a mid-point of 2.5 days remote for those 43%, that’s equivalent to 21.5% of all companies being fully remote. Adding that to the 8% that reported being fully remote, it’s equivalent to about 30% of all work days being remote. 

What’s remarkable about this data is that it suggests that we’ve not only “met” our most ambitious goals for Scoop reducing office commutes (~15%), we’ve doubled them! Said differently, if Scoop’s original carpool program scaled across the US and was utilized at the highest conceivable rates, the trip reduction would still have been only half of the trips which were eliminated from hybrid work policies that emerged post-pandemic. 

The emissions benefit of hybrid work is amplified by companies reducing office space, along with associated power and HVAC usage, to adjust for lower daily occupancy. A CBRE poll in mid-2022 showed that over half of companies planned to reduce their office space in the next three years due to underutilization from remote work. Of course, Scoop did not directly trigger the hybrid work policies that catalyzed these impact reductions - that work was done by COVID-19. 

For an average 500-person SF employer, moving from fully in-person to hybrid (2 days remote) reduces workplace emissions by 23% – the equivalent of 185 round trip flights from SF to London. Of course, moving to a fully remote model has an even higher impact (equivalent to another 484 round trip flights from SF to London), but it comes with tradeoffs on team productivity, culture, and creativity. 

Today Scoop is working on the next critical step of this evolution of how we work - how do we get the MOST out of every commute to the office. With their recently launched hybrid work platform, teams can easily collaborate on schedules and weekly planning to ensure they are going into the office on the right days. The key insight is to know who is going into the office (where) and what days they plan on being there (when). 

Scoop’s Flex Index dataset offers proprietary insights to empower both the employer to unlock the right balance of productivity and flexibility across their organization, and the employee to maximize each day in the office. With Scoop, employees get more out of going in, with easily scheduled in-office days and invites. For HR and workplace leaders, Scoop provides insights on work location trends, office usage, and additional workplace solutions to get the most out of hybrid work.

Labor markets are undergoing a period of transformation, brought on by persistent worker shortages, rapid adoption of automation and AI, and changing norms. At G2 Venture Partners, we spent time building our thesis on the future of work, given that where we work and how we work has a huge impact on our footprint. Major industries – transportation, logistics, and energy – are built around where and how we used to work: in urban centers and office parks, five days a week. As the way we work changes – to become more flexible, and more remote – this has profound implications for sustainability. We have invested in 3 companies to date along this thesis: Wonolo (labor marketplace for flexible industrial workers), Scoop (hybrid work platform), and Oyster (remote work platform). Do reach out to us if you are building in this space!

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