Green workplaces have always been in trend to help the environment. But did you know that they also make good business sense? Are you a part of the business who is looking forward to taking the conscientious step to make your office environment-friendly but you have no idea how to do it? It’s the right thing to do if done in the right way. Our offices have a great influence on the planet. According to the stats, global production has been more than 411 million metric tons of paper in 2016. Not only this, paper usage is joined with the costs of toner, energy, and labor, and that adds up to the environment’s wallet. Therefore, everyone should take steps to make the world a better place by going green.
What is an Environmental Friendly Office?
In a world aiming for sustainability, going green means staying competitive. Unlike conventional offices, green offices create a more mindful environment for the people that occupy the workplace. There are offices that are LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) that means they meet a global set of sustainability criteria. Creating a green office can add costly upgrades at the beginning with energy-efficient walls, heat-efficient flooring and the latest in green lighting but over time you’ll realize the true cost and environmental savings.
Why Should Companies Go Green?
Going green may seem to be the latest trend. To keep pace with your industry, start going green now. Following are the reasons to join the green crusade.
- Saving money
- Tax advantages and legal
- Building brand
- Improved workplace
- Retaining top talent
- Healthier work environment
- Sustainability of the planet
Ways to Create The Right Eco-friendly Environment
- No unnecessary printing
Inspire your employees to avoid printing documents when possible. Cut down on how often you take print outs. Save papers. Go digital to make the requirement announcements, send emails, and switch to the cloud. Find some smarter solutions to avoid unnecessary printing.
2. Motion-activated light switches
Improving energy efficiency by switching to motion-activated light switches will save the environment a lot. You can use this for your conference rooms, eating areas, and other less frequently used areas. Motion-activated lights will save energy automatically.
3. Green office supplies
Green supplies are non-toxic and do not harm the environment. They can turn your office into environment-friendly to a great extent. Pick compostable cups for coffee and water and 100 percent recyclable binders, recycled paper products for your sticky notes and printer paper to paper towels and tissues.
4. Bring a desk plant
A research revealed that plants significantly lower workplace stress and enhance productivity. Bring in a desk plant to improve the air quality around you and bring some natural elements into the office environment. Plants like Spider Plants, Peace Lilies, English Ivy or Bamboo Palms are good for the eco-friendly office environment.
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5. Get digital
If you haven’t gone paperless for your files and documents, file storage, and emails, it’s time to go digital. You can have a cloud-based project management system where you can neatly organise all your ideas and thoughts (without the need of keeping notepads), store all your files in folders, and keep all your stuff together.
6. Conserve human energy
While a lot of you may not consider this as a part of the Eco-friendly environment but the well-being of your people is crucial to the healthy habits of the workplace. Healthy and energetic employees will make for the company’s overall productivity. Help your team to be happy and energised.
7. Green Commute
Carpool with other staff, go cycling, or dust off the bike in the shed. These options will be better for the environment and for your health. How about not commuting at all? Given employees flexibility to work from home (telecommuting) a few days in a month can benefit the workplace environment and your team.
8. Maximize natural light
Take advantage of natural light for a more eco-friendly office place. Natural light is the source to keep the body’s circadian rhythms, which control awakening, synthesizing vitamin D and digestion. Whereas, indoor light is a major disruptor. If possible keep open windows for natural lights that will not only save energy but also bring clarity of thinking as it illuminates the mind.
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9. Make your building happy
There is a common term sick building syndrome. Air and water quality is somehow related to this syndrome. But an important part is people as well. The office environment says a lot about the mental condition of the employees. Excessive waste can lead to headache, dizziness, nausea, and people feeling ill mentally all the time. Take control of chemical contaminants coming through ventilation shafts, motor vehicles or from other sources or just poor ventilation.
10. Educate your employees
Awareness and education play a big role. Last but not least, the activities of employees contributes much to work in an eco-friendly way. Make sure you include your employees in the environmentally conscious practices by teaching them about the recycling program, encourage carpooling, walking, mindful paper use, and how to stop energy drains from items in the office.
Research has shown that 80 percent of consumers are more tending to support brands with a history of sustainability. We are already practicing safe eco-friendly habits at ProofHub, making it a workplace being loved by all. If you’ve not started yet, start doing it now.
Check off the items from the list one by one, you’ll soon get some quick wins and a big impact. A mindful and healthy office culture allows teams to think of the bigger picture. If you like the article, share this list with everyone in your team.
Vartika Kashyap runs the marketing team at ProofHub — a project management software for teams of all sizes. She is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured among LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the year 2017 & 2018. Connect with Vartika on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.