As we enter a new decade, we’re seeing more effort being put towards making modern workplaces sustainable and more eco-friendly. This holistic approach to workplace design brings a plethora of benefits to both employers and the employees, not to mention the impact that the eco-friendly solutions have on the environment.
For starters, the energy consumption of businesses can be observed from two angles: monthly bills and the impact on the environment. And though the first item seems to have more influence on business success and short-term goals, the second carries more gravity and long-term consequences.
Regardless of your chosen turning point, implementing holistic, environmentally friendly solutions into a workplace design is certain to reduce your monthly expenses and contribute to the preservation of the planet, while also positively affecting the health and general well-being of your employees. Below are several useful tips for designing a human-centered workplace that focuses on well-being and happiness.
Invest in new equipment
Now, this might seem like an unnecessary expense to some, but ten years old (or even more) equipment can spend a lot more energy than today’s products that are made to be energy-efficient. Furthermore, older appliances tend to break more often, so you have to pay for the repairs. From a long-term perspective, this type of investment can really pay off. When purchasing new devices, make sure they have power-saving features.
For instance, replacing all the old-type monitors with LCDs and old refrigerators with new energy-saving models or mini-fridges can be a great first step in the process. The same goes for equipping office space with energy-efficient, green office equipment, as well as ergonomic, eco-friendly office furniture. A couple of small eco-changes go a long way in enhancing productivity and efficiency while also promoting a green workplace and environmental responsibility.
Re-consider your lighting options
When it comes to energy saving, swapping the light bulbs is probably the last thing that springs to mind. Still, the traditional incandescent bulbs are producing more heat than light (around 90%) and they can only last up to 1, 000 hours. On the other hand, we have LED bulbs that are currently the most energy-efficient alternative, using 75% less energy and lasting up to 50,000 hours.
This is why it’s no wonder that more and more companies and manufacturers are turning to eco-friendly options such as LED lighting. Implementing industrial warehouse lighting solutions helps manufacturers maximize energy savings while at the same time providing adequate working conditions. And because LED lighting systems possess characteristics similar to those of natural light, they also ensure optimal visual comfort and visibility, which translates to a healthier work environment.
Pay attention to the heating
Heating office spaces does not only leave a carbon footprint, but also a significant print on your monthly bills. Furthermore, the temperature can significantly impact workers’ performance, which, according to a number of researches, translates to an increased cost of about 10% per hour (per employee).
By combining proper insulation, air sealing, thermostat settings, and adequate equipment not only will you reduce the emissions and create an ideal working environment, but you’ll also lower your heating bill by 30%. Your programmable thermostat should be as low as comfortable during the colder days, filters on air-conditioners should be cleaned regularly, and the drapes opened during the day to let more light and heat in. Generally speaking, you should aim for 22 to 25 degrees – the golden office temperature for optimal working performance.
Try to use less energy overall
When someone says “less”, people usually instantly link “loss” with it. In this case, it is far from being so. When you use less energy, it’s a win-win situation all around. You get to save money, the pollution impact on the environment is reduced, and you’ll be promoting a green, sustainable, and socially aware workspace. Changing light bulbs is just one of the steps in achieving it. As previously mentioned, you can replace all of those office appliances that use a lot of energy, such as laser printers that spend more energy than those with toner cartridges (and they cost significantly more).
So ditching/selling energy-inefficient products and office equipment and replacing them with greener options is a great starting point towards a greener workspace. Finally, don’t forget that even the smallest efforts add up towards your goal of saving energy, even if it’s something seemingly insignificant such as turning off the lights and appliances when they’re not in use.
Just a couple of modifications go a long way in reducing operating costs and designing a more efficient, healthier workplace for your employees. Not only that but by taking these few eco-steps, you’ll also be contributing to environmental preservation, which is doubtlessly shown to be the most important goal of all in today’s society.
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