Society has never been more concerned with the state of the environment, and the planet writ large, than it is today. This attitude has migrated into almost every sector of life, including the work office, and that means companies have had to adjust their position in order to accommodate social and environmental themes into their spaces. This has created an unexpected benefit for workers and employers, by leveraging the positive effects of environmental consciousness to create healthy, morale-boosting workspaces. For companies who are preparing to tweak their offices to follow a greener theme, it’s good to look at a few key tips. Doing so will create more natural workspaces that are truly dedicated to environmental sustainability, instead of merely paying lip service to the idea.
FAVOUR DIGITAL OVER PAPER
This tip is by far the most common, and obvious, and many companies have adopted new waste management solutions. The results have seen a massive decline in deforestation as millions of companies ditch paper for a digital foundation. Emails have replaced paper copies and other written material, training courses have migrated to a digital video-based training method, and mobile devices have eliminated the need for countless photocopies of a particular document.
Going paperless is remarkably easy, even for more traditional businesses. Even small offices with very small teams need only have a single computer to act as an information and storage hub. Files can be backed up on rack servers or cloud-based storage for peace of mind, eliminating the need for physical media. Companies that still use paper from time to time can choose recycled paper products, or an FSC (Forests for All) certified printer for the office.
PLAN OUT YOUR ELECTRICAL USE
Going green doesn’t mean that the environment automatically benefits. It takes a lot of power to run an electrical grid, and we are not yet at the point where solar and wind technologies can defeat the gains of fossil fuels. In the meantime, companies can strike a balance by making sure they aren’t draining power unnecessarily throughout the day, or night. Setting up lighting schemes to start and stop based on time of day, or activity are handy. Motion sensors can be installed to turn lights on and off automatically, fluorescent bulbs can be ditched in favor of vastly superior LEDs, etc.
Similarly, smart outlet technologies can prevent tech devices from vampire draining energy over the night, thereby cutting down costs, and keeping things a little more eco-friendly. Offices with a lot of computers and other electrical devices may not realize just how much power keeps flowing when not in use. Therefore, shutting down these devices at the right times can go a long way to preserving our natural resources.
REDUCE YOUR WASTE
The old mantra “reduce, reuse and recycle” still rings true, but most people consider it only for the home. In truth, offices can partake in this approach as well, by looking for ways to cut down on waste, while simultaneously pursuing recyclable options. Having clearly marked recycle boxes is one step towards cutting down on a lot of company waste, while migrating away from plastic bottles and other non-recyclable materials is another. The objective is to nip and tuck the operations of a company so that “reduce, reuse and recycle” actually becomes a cultural positive. When everyone is involved, it can make an office feel more proactive and happy.
CUT DOWN ON THE A.C.
As any employer can attest, the office space is filled with employees who can never agree on the current state of the temperature in a room. At the same time, almost everyone realizes that running an air conditioning unit all hours of the day is not exactly an environmentally friendly approach. First, companies should make sure that their A.C. and HVAC systems are in tip top shape, for the sake of energy efficiency. Second, it might be wise to implement a more relaxed dress code so that employees can bundle up a little more in the winter, and wear breathable clothing in the summer. Air conditioning doesn’t have to go away, but minimizing its usage can be beneficial on both the planet, and the pocketbook.
DITCH TOXIC CLEANING PRODUCTS
Many companies are making huge strides in the area of non-toxic cleaning products, and that’s great news across the board. Traditional toxic cleaning products yield no benefits for the body, or the environment, and they should be phased out in favor of greener options. Thankfully, there are a lot to choose from, so companies won’t need to do a lot of research in order to stock up. The recent pandemic helped accelerate the need for cleaning products, many of which are eco-friendly, so employers should definitely want to take advantage.
With just a few simple tips, your office space can maintain the same day-to-day operations as before, with the satisfaction of knowing that you’re doing your small part for the planet. Nobody needs to be a hardcore environmental activist in order to recognize the benefit of reducing their impact on the world around them, and employees know this better than anyone. By thinking greener in the long term, both employer and employee can feel better about their work to benefit a sustainable future, while inspiring others to feel the same.
For more ideas on how to incorporate green ideas into your workplace, please contact us! We’d love to share our thoughts on which sustainability initiatives your office can take part in.