In today’s day and age, there’s a lot of pressure and responsibility for businesses to go green. And while many of these steps can seem very complex and intimidating, sometimes you just need to start small. The office is a great place to begin.
How to Create a Greener Office
A green office is an office that’s intentionally designed and optimized to be more sustainable. The emphasis is on reducing energy consumption and being smart with the resources that are utilized. As you think about ways to make your office greener, consider the following:
1. Eliminate Single-Use Items
Do your best to avoid single-use items in the office. For example, there’s no sense in having paper or styrofoam cups in the breakroom. Instead, encourage employees to bring their own stainless steel water bottles or reusable thermoses. Better yet, order some with the company logo and give them out to your employees.
2. Go Paperless
Most offices have already moved away from paper in some capacity, but now’s a good time to go fully paperless. Create a documented policy and enforce it. Let each employee in the office know what the goal is and how they need to adjust their practices in order to help the cause.
The best way to set the paperless plan in motion is to get rid of printers, scanners, and fax machines. Or, if you’re not quite ready to quit cold turkey, create pin codes for each individual user and limit them to something like 10 pages per week. From there, you can taper it off until there’s no longer a need for paper.
3. Maximize Space
A green office is an efficient office. And in order to be efficient, you have to maximize the space you have. Turn individual offices and cubicles into flexible workspaces by incorporating sleek standing desks that allow for maximum movement in minimal space. Check out the BTOD.com LinkedIn page to see demonstrations of how these desks work.
4. Prioritize Natural Lighting
Want to reduce energy consumption in the office? Do your best to move away from artificial lighting and toward natural lighting. Not only does this allow you to lower your energy bills, but it also yields a number of health and productivity benefits for your employees.
This includes reduced eye strain, fewer headaches, better mood, greater alertness, fewer mistakes, and better overall job performance. According to one study, it improves overall job performance by 2 percent per employee. That might not sound like a lot, but it can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in value in larger companies.
In areas of the office where you do need artificial lighting, be smart about the bulbs you use. LED lighting uses 75 to 80 percent less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs. (They also last much longer.) And if you currently have T12 fluorescent lighting, upgrading to T8 fluorescent tubes will provide significant energy savings.
5. Incorporate Greenery
Nothing says “going green” quite like incorporating more greenery into the office. Look for opportunities to include more plants in your office. Not only do they purify the air, but they also provide a number of other benefits.
For example, research shows that having indoor plants in the office is known to increase happiness, promote more productivity, reduce stress, replenish attention capacity, and more.
6. Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
Keeping the office clean is more important today than it’s ever been. But don’t let your rush to disinfect everything lead you to inadvertently make poor decisions that harm the environment (and even your employees).
Most standard office cleaning products consist of harsh chemicals. If you have a janitorial crew that cleans your office on a daily or weekly basis, inquire about what products they use. Offer to provide your own green cleaning solutions and products. Here’s a useful list of safe eco-friendly commercial cleaning products.
Do Your Part to Make the World a Little Greener
You don’t have the power to change the world. (Even billionaires with deep pockets and massive nonprofit organizations focused on lowering greenhouse emissions and stopping global warming can’t set everything straight.)
You do, however, have the ability to make your corner of the world just a little bit greener. And if we all focus on doing our part, our collective power and influence are enough to make a big difference.
Article Submitted By Community Writer