The consequences of global warming and the abuse of Earth’s natural resources are becoming more apparent, and people are starting to take notice. Everyone from political leaders to everyday citizens is reevaluating their wasteful behaviors and making intentional changes to save the planet. As a result, they’re demanding more from the brands they work for and do business with. Ultimately, the growing demands have encouraged companies to shift to green and sustainable practices – starting with the workplace.
Whether you’re a solopreneur who works from a home office or a small business in a commercial office space, simple changes to your workplace design can reduce your carbon footprint while enhancing your team’s well-being. Below are some suggestions to consider.
Use Nature To Your Advantage
When you successfully bring the outdoors in, it helps conserve energy, reduce waste, boost morale, and increase productivity in the workplace. Air quality and ventilation are greatly improved when office windows open to allow fresh air indoors. Access to natural light reduces the need for energy-draining light sources and enhances mood, energy levels, and productivity. Adding a few plants in your office space purifies the air, wards off illness, and increases focus.
Opt For Eco-Friendly Paint
Lead isn’t the only danger present in commercial paints. There are several harmful toxins and chemicals in paint that damage the environment and, ultimately employee health. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), for instance, leaves behind non-biodegradable chemical waste. When someone is exposed to VOCs regularly, it increases their chances of developing lung cancer and other respiratory issues. Opting to paint your office walls with eco-friendly paints eliminates all of these risks.
Adopt Modern Technology
Technology in the workplace helps employees work more efficiently; it also helps businesses 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, ensure that they have these technologies and accessories like laptop stands, wrist guards, and ergonomic furniture to work efficiently and comfortably.
Every piece of equipment and appliance used in the workplace drain energy. Be that as it may, functioning without these resources is nearly impossible. A healthy compromise for business owners would be to invest in energy-efficient appliances. It’s office equipment and devices that use less energy without compromising quality and effectiveness. Whether you’re purchasing a copy machine for the file room or a refrigerator for the breakroom, 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 for appearance or employee comfort. Ultimately, it’s wasteful spending that’s also harmful to the environment. If you want to make a difference in your workspace, consider purchasing used furniture. For instance, a slightly worn bookshelf can be refurbished with sandpaper and paint while providing a means of storage for your employees. You should also try to purchase furniture made from sustainable materials to reduce your carbon footprint further.
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 some of the most significant sources of waste. Employees bring in disposable coffee cups, water bottles, utensils, and microwaveable meals that don’t get recycled. Not to mention, the use of microwaves, stoves, and other cooking appliances spikes.
You can create a more eco-friendly environment by making a few changes to the kitchen. For starters, invest in energy-efficient appliances. You should also consider purchasing reusable mugs, cups, silverware, and cooking utensils. Finally, add various recycling bins 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 follow suit. Although there are many ways to go green in the workplace, starting with an environmentally friendly office design is ideal.