Going Green in the Office
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- Design Tips
Having a nice workspace is important to productivity. A green workspace can make an even bigger difference.
A study showed people who worked in a green-certified office had fewer sick days, better sleep, and a cognition boost.
Here are some ways to make any workspace a bit greener.
Find ways to bring natural light in. Not only does artificial lighting cost more than lighting a space naturally, using natural light can also help increase productivity. Studies have shown people who work near sunlit windows have higher productivity rates.
Paint color can also help. Light wall colors with a high gloss help reflect daylight. Arrange furniture and workspaces to maximize natural light.
Replace bulbs with LEDs and turn off lights at night. Sensors in rooms that are often not used can save energy.
Bringing the Outdoors Indoors
Get plants. Not only are they pretty, but they also they help the air quality inside by sucking up bad pollutants and emitting healthy negative ions and oxygen into the air.
Plants can also cool the air around them. It’s called transpiration where water moves through a plant cooling it. That can cool the area around the plant, kind of like a natural air conditioner.
If you don’t have windows or can’t have plants, consider using outdoor images and natural textures inside. Wood furniture and accents can make a place feel more relaxed and much less sterile.
Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse
Making it easy for people to recycle is one step towards greening the office. Put bins near printers, in break rooms, and other prominent places.
Try to reduce printing. Put meeting agendas on a whiteboard instead of printing them. Use backsides of printed materials as scratch paper. Scanning and distributing documents rather than printing them not only saves paper, but it also allows for better data recall later because someone can search a computer for a document.
Encourage staff to use non-disposable items like mugs, plates, and silverware. Washing something does not take too much time.
Reduce Electricity Use
Keeping electronics on at night uses a lot of energy. Encourage staff to shut down computer instead of using a screensaver.
Dressing for the season, which might mean a more casual office, can also save energy. If everyone is wearing suits, you probably have to keep the office cooler in the summer, using more electricity. Wearing workplace-appropriate but seasonal clothing might reduce some costs.
Commuting and Carpooling
Allowing employees to work from home can help reduce your company’s carbon footprint as well as improve productivity. Many people get more done when they are working from the comfort of their own home.
Carpools can increase office camaraderie while reducing gas costs. Sharing the commute can even make the time in the car seem shorter because there’s someone to share it with. Public transportation, walking, or biking can also be an alternative commuting option.
If you’re looking for ways to green up your office space, the professionals at Beaux-Arts Group can help. We have the expertise to make any office more inviting. Contact us today.