Often, when you think about going green, the immediate consideration is about reducing your carbon emissions. Other quick thoughts may include riding your bike more, using public transportation, being stricter with your recycling, and so on and so forth. But have you ever thought about making your office eco-friendly? There are so many ways of converting your office in to an environmentally friendly one, and here are some tips to help you along the way.
- Print only when you must
This is probably a message that you have seen countless times at the end of nearly every mail. However, most people still print out documents more than they should, even when there is absolutely no need to do so. Your best alternative is to use cloud-based storage as it is very easy to save, share and access files on Google Drive. Keep in mind that this will also make you appear much more tech savvy.
- Reducing your power bills
With modern technology, you can now purchase energy-saving gadgets which automatically turn off every time you leave the office. Light controllers and instinctive building management systems simplify this task even more. An extra benefit that comes with reducing energy utilisation is the money you can save on power and electricity bills.
- Encouraging a greener lifestyle
You should encourage your workers and colleagues to live an eco-friendly way of life that goes beyond the office. Just like any aspect of life, it is very easy to go green when you incorporate the idea into your life compared to a forced change where you commit one little aspect of your routine to it. While switching to an eco-friendly office setting might appear a big challenge at first, you will soon appreciate how rewarding the process can be, both financially and morally.
- Create a sustainability team in the office
A sustainability team can help to create more awareness and accomplish other missions in the quest to developing a green office. The team can take up projects such as designing an eco-friendly office refurbishment, starting or facilitating a more efficient recycling program, or being part of purchasing decisions for energy-efficient appliances and safe cleaning supplies.
- Start monthly environmental competitions
Monthly team competitions can be an enjoyable way of combining teamwork with creating an environmentally friendly office. For instance, you can challenge the workforce to go one month without driving to work, with the person who lasts the longest receiving a day off or a similar work based incentive.
- Bring a desk plant
If you can, conduct some natural office refurbishment and bring a plant into the office to enhance indoor air quality in the office space. Plants can produce more oxygen which offsets any chemicals emitted by new office furniture, making a safer and happier office space for your employees to work in.
- Utilise natural light
It is a well-known fact that employees who sit near windows have a higher work rate than those who don’t. Natural light controls your body’s circadian rhythms, digestion, and absorbing vitamin D. However, indoor light can be a major disruptor. During your office refurbishment, you should make sure that you move workstations to within 25 feet of peripheral walls that have windows.
You should rely more on the natural light to save energy. You can also opt to installing a better power strip in the workstation, swapping lighting equipment with LED light, and using timers and sensors for office lighting. This will help you to reduce the energy used and costs on your utility bills.
- Switch to energy-saving computers
Starting with new computers that have the Energy Star label is very important. You should then set them to operate as economically as possible. You can also use power-management options in the operating system of your computer. Set the monitor to turn off in cases of inactivity, and set the desktop systems to hibernate at the end of the day when the employees are gone. Smart power management can single-handedly save a lot of energy in the office which is in line with shifting to an environmentally friendly office.
An environmentally friendly office can help breathe new life in to your business on the inside whilst creating a positive reputation for yourselves on the outside. If you’re serious about creating an eco-friendly office, then these tips can set you up perfectly.
Author: Carly Chandra – Business Development Manager at Saracen Interiors in London