The consequences of global warming and the abuse of the Earth’s natural resources are becoming more apparent and people are starting to take notice. Everyone from political leaders to ordinary citizens are reevaluating their wasteful behaviors and making intentional changes to save the planet. As a result, they are demanding more from the brands they work for and do business with. Ultimately, the growing demands have encouraged companies to adopt green and sustainable practices, starting in the workplace.
Whether you’re a self-employed entrepreneur working from a home office or a small business in a commercial office space, simple changes to your workplace design can reduce your carbon footprint and improve the well-being of your team. Here are some suggestions to consider.
Use nature to your advantage
When you successfully bring the outdoors in, it helps conserve energy, reduces waste, boosts morale and increases productivity in the workplace. Air quality and ventilation are greatly improved when office windows are opened to allow fresh air in. Access to natural light reduces the need for energy-consuming light sources and improves mood, energy levels and productivity. Adding a few plants to your office space purifies the air, prevents illness and increases focus.
Opt for eco-friendly paint
Lead is not the only hazard present in commercial paints. There are several harmful toxins and chemicals in paint that harm the environment and, ultimately, the health of employees. Volatile organic compounds ( VOCs ), for example, leave non-biodegradable chemical residues. When someone is exposed to VOCs on a regular basis, it increases their chances of developing lung cancer and other respiratory problems. Choosing to paint your office walls with environmentally friendly paints eliminates all of these risks.
Adopt modern technology
Technology in the workplace helps employees work more efficiently; it also helps companies reduce their carbon footprint. With computers, laptops, tablets and a good internet connection, companies can decrease or eliminate paper and ink waste. When designing employee workstations, make sure they have these technologies and accessories, such as laptop stands, wrist straps and ergonomic furniture to work efficiently and comfortably.
All equipment and appliances used in the workplace consume energy. Be that as it may, operating without these resources is nearly impossible. A healthy compromise for business owners would be to invest in energy-efficient appliances. These are office equipment and devices that use less energy without compromising quality and efficiency. Whether you’re buying a copier for the file room or a refrigerator for the break room, opt for appliances with a high-energy star rating.
Buy used furniture
You don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive furniture to improve appearance or employee comfort. Ultimately, it’s a wasteful expense that’s also harmful to the environment. If you want to make a difference in your workspace, consider buying used furniture. For example, a slightly worn bookshelf can be restored with sandpaper and paint and provide a means of storage for your employees. You should also try to purchase furniture made from sustainable materials to further reduce your carbon footprint.
Kitchens are very common in office buildings. It provides a space for employees to gather, take breaks and enjoy meals. Be that as it may, office kitchens can be one of the most significant sources of waste. Employees bring in disposable coffee cups, water bottles, utensils and microwaveable meals that are not recycled. Not to mention increased use of microwaves, stoves and other cooking appliances.
You can create a greener environment by making a few changes in the kitchen. For starters, invest in energy-efficient appliances. You should also consider buying reusable cups, mugs, cutlery and cookware. Finally, add several recycling garbage cans to encourage environmentally friendly behaviors.
The human impact on the environment is too significant to put on the back burner. As citizens around the world take notice and demand change, businesses are encouraged to do the same. While there are many ways to go green in the workplace, the ideal is to start with environmentally friendly office design.