Considering we spend about a fifth of our lifetime at work, it’s important to think about how we can make the workplace better employees, as well as the environment.
Sustainability in the workplace is much more than using energy-saving bulbs and recycling — it’s a holistic approach to creating a general sense of wellbeing in a workplace that cares for employees and the environment.
Although this might seem like a difficult task at first, it doesn’t have to be complex or expensive.
Here’s nine ways to make your start-up more eco-friendly:
1. Change Your Team’s Habits
Big changes start with small steps. Motivate your team to change their everyday habits in favor of eco-friendly habits.
Replace disposable coffee cups with reusable mugs, add recycling bins and compost bins to the office, and prompt employees to print less. Employees will feel motivated to do something useful for themselves and the planet.
2. Go Green (literally)!
Having plants in your indoor environment will help clean the air and improve the general mood – and of course it will make the office look prettier. Encouraging your employees to take care of the plants will make them feel more responsible and involved.
3. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Create a recycling culture within your team and if possible, give each of them a specific task to help recycling in the office.
Ideas include: installing and checking the usage of recycling bins, changing your default printer settings to print double-sided, collecting and recycling used batteries (even better, switch to rechargeable batteries) and making sure the food waste is kept to a minimum.
4. Introduce a Flexible Work Policy
Giving flexible working conditions to your employees is another great step towards sustainability.
Working remotely has considerable advantages both for employees and the environment – it will help them be more efficient with their time and it will cut down the carbon emission they would normally produce on their commute to work.
5. Go Paperless
Minimize paper waste as much as you can. This will not only help the environment but it
will also save you money when using the office printer.
Try and manage work activities digitally, such as reading reports, sending invitations, taking meeting notes, and sending documents. Having online meetings and conference calls can also reduce pollution and save money on travelling.
6. Get the Team Involved
Your team involvement is key to their retention. Motivate them to take part in eco-friendly initiatives such as managing the kitchen waste smartly, taking part in recycling, and carpooling.
You can also get creative with your team building activities – ever thought about organizing a gardening workshop or a green week challenge for your team?
7. Manage Your Office’s Energy Consumption
Keeping the energy levels of your office equipment under control is useful, especially when it comes to reducing your electricity bills. Ask your team to switch off their equipment overnight and shut everything down during long weekends and holiday periods.
When buying new laptops and technology equipment for the office, make sure to do some research beforehand and choose the best energy-efficient items within your price range. Once your equipment is out of use, recycle it to minimize landfill.
8. Support Local Businesses
Transport and energy costs are reduced considerably when you buy locally made products. Have you ever thought about where the tea and coffee you buy come from? By purchasing local products you will decrease production costs and support companies with a similar ethos to your own business.
9. Sharing is Caring
Having a sustainable working environment also means saving financial resources that could be invested somewhere else within the business. Encourage your employees to share their ideas about how to save energy in the office and attract more socially-engaged customers. Make sure you celebrate the ones who have the best ideas – make the reward something eco-friendly such as a plant or a reusable coffee mug.
By doing your best to improve employee working conditions and your own work environment, you’ll be more likely to attract a stronger and more reliable workforce. That’s why we encourage every business – not just small businesses – to adopt “green” workplace practices.
Want more eco-friendly workplace tips? Contacts us today – we’re here to help!