One way to get ahead of the curve in the modern workplace, is to actively participate in an eco-friendly office culture. Not only will you be helping the environment, you may even bolster your company’s public image and attract new customers. Other companies are starting to get wise to the idea. Forbes have said that a “sustainable brand is one that has successfully integrated environmental, economic and social issues into its business operations”.
Taking certain eco-friendly steps can also lead to improved staff happiness and productivity. You could also save money in the process. So why not give it a try?
These hints and tips will hopefully inspire you take some little steps to be more environmentally friendly in your own office.
Use Compostable Products
Many offices use plastic cups and other canteen utensils which are often not placed in recycling containers. The first step is to start recycling. Major restaurant chains such as Burger King, for example, are now providing paper straws. This is a great idea as plastic straws are often not accepted for recycling. Lead by example and try alternatively using more compostable products, which should not leave the same lasting mark on the environment.
We have talked before about the benefits of bringing plants into your office. Indoor plants can make the air fresher in an office, acting as air purifiers. On top of this, plants can increase employee happiness and productivity. So consider placing a nice indoor shrub at your desk.
Recycle Electrical Items
Especially for those in the IT sector, a great way to help the environment is to give unused/old equipment to charity or recycling organisations instead of throwing it out. There is a growing industry of IT professionals who restore and resell older laptops, tablets and PCs to be reused, or extract other parts. This is an excellent way of being environmentally conscious, as there are a variety of valuable components involved, including metal.
Unplug and Switch Off
The first step in saving energy is to turn off electrical equipment and switch off unnecessary lights when leaving your office in the evening. If possible, place employee desks nearer to windows and utilise natural lighting. Not only will it reduce energy use, natural lighting saves money, improves employee morale and leads to higher productivity.
The problem, however, is that your office will still be using energy even when PCs and even canteen appliances are turned off. This is because that when plugged in, electrical items are still using a certain level of power. So if you want to save money and reduce energy, take that plug out. This should be done with caution and certain plugs may not be advisable to remove, such as the office server. However once switched off properly, there is often no reason to keep something plugged in.
Spread Awareness in the Office and Lead by Example
A great way to make your office more environmentally friendly, is to encourage an atmosphere of awareness. For instance, simply adding recycling bins in different areas of the office could prove to make a world of difference. Labeling rubbish bins and recycling bins separately reminds people and yourself to be environmentally conscious. Perhaps staff could partake in an office competition which would get more people involved. Ultimately, the more colleagues who know about the issues, the more your office will organically move toward eco-friendly solutions.
Don’t forget the marketing benefits of your brand either. Eco-officegals say “when you go green, you will come across as a company that cares, and this can help to attract customers who share your values”. If your team are taking some steps to be environmentally friendly, why not post about it on social media?
Gannon Office Solutions specialise in office interiors, office technology, technology support and ergonomic furniture among many other areas. Gannon has thirty-eight years of experience in the business of providing professional office solutions.