No effort is too small and no contribution is too little when it comes to saving the environment. We’ve damaged the environment enough and if we continue with our environmentally unsafe practices, it won’t be long before we damage the environment too much. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that any damage to the environment will directly have an impact on the entire human race.
The awareness about the damage that our practices are doing to the environment is at an all-time high and people are seen making more conscious decisions. For the very same reason, an increasing number of employers are changing the design of their offices and modifying their processes to make them as environmental-friendly as possible.
The concept of green offices is rather new but it’s being accepted by the masses quite rapidly. Just like many employers are working to create ergonomic office spaces with ergonomic furniture like the Vici Duplex Standing Desk, they are also trying to design eco-friendly office spaces. If you haven’t heard of green offices before, fret not. We’re here to explain what green offices are and what benefits they have to offer.
What are Green Offices?
Green offices, to put in the simplest terms, are eco-friendly offices. The design, construction, and operations of a green office are all such that they reduce the impact on the environment. Not only do they reduce the environmental impact from the construction of the building but they also design their operations in a way that their contribution to the damage to the environment is kept to a minimum. From the products they purchase to the mode of transport of their employees, green offices don’t leave any stone unturned to ensure that they don’t damage the planet any more than they already have.
Benefits of a Green Office Space
Designing the office and ensuring that everything that goes around in the office space is eco-friendly isn’t easy. You’ve got to change the way how you do things at work and that requires a holistic shift in the mindset, approach, and operations. Since it requires so much work, you may want some real encouragement to shift to a green office space. For this very reason, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most noteworthy benefits of green office spaces.
1. Reduces Load on the Landfills
Where do you think all the waste you dispose of goes? Does it magically vanish once it leaves your facility? It doesn’t. No matter how well you organize the waste your office produces, it’ll end up in the landfill. All waste in landfills disintegrates and deteriorates at its own pace. Biodegradable waste degrades and becomes a part of the environment but the waste that’s not biodegradable stays around for a while and causes harm to the environment.
One of the biggest benefits of shifting to a green office space is the reduced load on the landfills. The mantra of green offices is to reduce, recycle, and re-use (3 Rs). They reduce the amount of waste they use by recycling and reusing everything that they can so that the waste that leaves their facility is minimized. Green office practices are designed carefully to ensure the wastage of resources is minimal and the level of reusability and recyclability is maximum.
2. Reduces Expenses
Since green office spaces are focused on recycling and reusing the resources in hand to the highest extent possible, they can save a lot of money on procuring additional resources. Instead of discarding and disposing of everything that has been used and bringing brand new items into use, green offices try to bring whatever they can from the used items into their use.
3. Saves Energy
Many offices are redesigning their office spaces such that it allows plenty of natural light to come into their offices so that their electricity usage during the day is minimized. This helps employers save energy. Not only that, the benefits of utilizing the sunlight to light up the office during the day go far beyond saving on energy bills. The process through which electricity is produced utilizes a lot of natural resources and produces extensive waste. When the usage of electricity is reduced on a mass scale, lesser electricity will have to be produced that further saving natural resources and reducing the waste produced.
4. Enhanced Productivity
How will you feel working at an office that you know is committed to reducing the burden on the environment and saving the planet? You’ll feel proud to be a part of such an organization. Employees who work in green office spaces feel proud and happy to be working for a responsible company. And when they’re happy to be a part of the team, they put their heart into their work. This way, green office spaces boost the productivity of employees and help the company achieve better results on the whole!
5. Enhanced Appeal to Prospect Employees
Just like employees working at a green office feeling good about their job, prospective employees would be willing to become a part of a team that’s committed to green or eco-friendly practices. Green office space would look more appealing to new employees and will attract individuals who themselves are committed to reducing their contribution to the environmental damage. This would mean that the company will be able to achieve its objectives much more easily since all its employees will be on the same page.
6. Improved Brand Image
If you look at the bigger picture, going green will improve your brand image. People are more conscious about how their practices and choices affect the environment today than they ever were. They don’t even want to be associated with businesses that are known for reckless practices that pose environmental hazards. However, when you market yourself as a green working space, it’ll automatically lift your reputation up. More clients would want to be associated with you and become a part of your journey.
7. Increased Employee Engagement
One of the many features of green office spaces is plenty of outdoor spaces for the employees to relax and even work. It’s one of the ways to encourage employees to use outdoor spaces so that electricity consumption inside the office can be reduced further. When employees spend their time outdoors, they’re able to bond better and stronger. When the bonding between employees is strong, the sense of being a team is more profound and that results in excellent results for the business.
How to Set Up a Green Office?
As we said earlier, setting up a green office isn’t the easiest thing to do. However, it’s not impossible either. Below are some tips that’ll help you achieve your goals of transforming your office into an eco-friendly space that supports and encourages environment-friendly practices.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Encourage your employees to reduce the waste they produce, reuse what they can, and recycle everything that can be recycled. It might not be easy to make employees follow the 3 Rs. What you can do to encourage employees is reward them for their practices. Reward one employee every month who produced the least waste and reused and recycled the most.
Use Eco-Friendly Products
The concept of green offices not only revolves around designing eco-friendly practices. It extends to the products you use. For example, you can procure chemical-free cleaning products instead of the regular harsh ones to clean your office. Although these products will be pricier than regular cleaning products, their impact makes them worth it.
Work on Transportation Options
Transportation produces a lot of fumes that contribute to the greenhouse effect. One way you can ensure your company’s contribution to the greenhouse effect is the least is to work on providing your employees transportations options so they don’t have to come in their private vehicles. You can arrange for area-specific van services. Instead of 5 employees coming to work in 5 separate vehicles, they can come in 1 van. You can encourage your employees to use carpooling services. All of this would further help you reduce the environmental impact coming from your office. As we said in the beginning, no effort is too small.
Encourage Paperless Environment
We understand how challenging it’s to go paperless. There are so many documents that need to be in files in hard copies. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Paper waste makes up the biggest percentage of the total waste produced. Encourage your employees to use as little paper as possible.
Use Mugs Instead of Disposal Cups
Plastic disposable cups make up a major chunk of the waste companies produce. You can reduce that. Simply give all your employees office mugs that they can use for water, juices, tea, and coffee. The mugs can be washed and used for as long as the employee wants!
Green offices will change the dynamics of how things are done if the idea is accepted on a mass level. With green office spaces, you can feel good about yourself and your job, knowing that what you’re doing isn’t doing our planet any harm!