Implementing energy-efficient practices into the workplace not only helps your business save money, it's also linked to better people outcomes.
Workplaces going ‘green’ have reported a lift in productivity and boosted morale. Sustainable workplaces are now key to attracting and retaining employees. A report has found that Nine in 10 millennials say it is important they work for a sustainable company, compared to 84% of Gen Xers and 77% of baby boomers. Nearly one in 10 would quit their jobs if they found out their current employer was not sustainable.
The great news is that being energy efficient is easier than you think and everyone can get involved. Here are seven simple ways you can get started:
1. Install large windows
Having large windows fills the office with natural lighting. This helps reduce dependence on artificial lighting and therefore will reduce electricity usage.
According to the Harvard Business Review, the absence of natural light and outdoor views affects the employee experience. Over a third of employees feel that they don’t get enough natural light in their workspace. 47% of employees admit they feel tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office and 43% report feeling gloomy because of the lack of light.
Natural warm lighting transforms your workplace from a cold and unwelcoming one to an inviting one which fosters creativity.
Another tip is to use lighter paint colours in the office because they can reflect sunlight better and reduce the use of artificial lighting.
2. Energy vampires
Walk around the office and look for the sneaky energy ‘vampires’.
Computer and electronic devices in standby mode continue to suck electricity even when they are not in use. Large machines such as printers consume electricity 24/7 if they are not cut off from the source. The only way to stop them is to switch them off when leaving the office.
You can also use timers that cut off the supply after a certain time. This is particularly helpful for fridges. If your fridge contains non-perishable products, such as drinks, turn it off overnight.
Install sensors to automatically turn of air-conditioning or lights will help reduce your carbon footprint and minimise your energy bill.
3. Make the switch to better products
Consider energy use when you're choosing equipment. Buy office products such as computers, fax machines and photocopiers with an Energy Star label.
Portable computers such as laptops use less energy than desktop models.
As the trend is heading towards a paperless environment, it is a good idea to audit your usage of printers. Getting rid of printers is not only better for the environment, it will reduce your operating costs.
4. Make it cooler
Every degree lower you set your heating can save you up to 10% on your energy use so ensure you set the correct temperature for your office.
The recommended range is 22 to 26 degrees Celsius, and an airflow rate of 0.1 metres per second. The humidity level is best between 60% and 40%.
5. Add a little green into the office
As humans, we have an innate desire to be connected with nature. Scientists call this ‘biophilia’.
Decorating your office with indoor plants not only looks great but it will also help reduce the carbon emissions of the office.
Plants help purify the air and release oxygen. This means they also naturally offset emissions from electronics and set the mood for a happy workplace.
6. The green challenge
A monthly or quarterly green competition can be a fun and effective way to incorporate an eco-friendly culture into the workplace.
The monthly eco-friendly tasks can be a great way to introduce ‘green practices’ at work.
7. The green team
The best way to make something work is by assigning responsibility and accountability. A sustainable green team can work to spread awareness and help in the transition to an eco-friendly office.
They should monitor monthly electricity and water consumption and keep track of order supply just to name a few.
Have you implemented any of these simple energy efficient practices into your workplace? We would love to hear how effective they’ve been for your business.