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Maybe your company made a New Year’s resolution to make the office more eco-friendly. Another one or you also just watched the new David Attenborough documentary. Whatever your reasons, it’s always a good time to try making your place of work a little more eco-efficient. Therefore, here are some tips to help you get started.
Office buildings most importantly generally consume a lot of energy. You have the lights on all day, machines running. Also sometimes whole floors of a building to heat and cool. An easy way to reduce energy use is to put things like lights and heating and cooling on automatic timers. Smart devices can sense temperature levels and motion and can turn them on when necessary. You can also instate a strict lights-off policy at night. This can apply to machines and other energy-using things in the building. Before employees go home at night, they should do a once-over of their personal space and ensure that everything has been turned off. If your office really wants to go all the way with energy-saving attempts, you can look into installing solar panels on the office roof. And some companies have had success incentivizing employees to ride their bikes to work by holding competitions and having a good prize at the end.
A great way to make sure all bases are covered when making changes to the office is by creating a team to handle the initiative. The team can come up with challenges for the office, ideas for more eco-friendly changes, and can help make others more enthusiastic about the changes. Teams can assimilate company data to see where the most waste is created and propose changes to solve the problem. Some companies have had their local water or power authority come to speak with employees, and a team can be a great way to come across cool opportunities like that. A team made up of employees will make it more likely that others will get on board with the new ideas since it’ll be coming from the peers and not higher-up.
Sustainable products can be expensive to purchase for an entire office, but there are small changes you can make that will have a bigger impact over time. Green electronics can be a great route, since they’ll last a long time and will end up paying for themselves in saved energy costs. Try and tackle one thing to replace every few months, rather than making the change all at once.
A great way to reduce your office’s carbon footprint is by committing to being 100% paperless (or as paperless as possible). In this day and age, when everyone carries a smart device with them, it’s much easier to do everything digitally. Files, memos, and documents can all be stored safely on servers or in the cloud. It’s a safe option with the possibility of frequent backups, whereas a physical file cabinet can be easily compromised. Companies that go paperless often find that they become more efficient and that fewer details get lost in the cracks.
Part of making the office more eco-friendly should be for the benefit of the employees. Workers become more efficient and less prone to seasonal depression if they work in an office with greater exposure to natural sunlight. If your floor layout is for cubicles, try installing some skylights. Also ensure that every office has access to a window. Plus, more sunlight means workers can successfully bring their houseplants to work with them. This can improve the quality of oxygen in the room. Making changes to the office will be better for everyone. Make it clear that quality of life will improve as a result.
Finally, the are many more ways that you can change your office to be more sustainable. However these five tips are a great place to start.
Author: Finnegan Pierson
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