Edited August 2021
Every year, increasing workplace awareness of sustainable practices and minimizing businesses’ impact on the environment becomes more important to employee satisfaction and management’s bottom line. From incorporating green office furniture to using non-toxic, recyclable, and organic materials when creating your workspace, the task of going green is more crucial than ever. Though it may seem daunting, there are easy ways to begin the process without breaking a sweat or the bank. Here we have 5 ideas to get you started.
1. Living Plant Walls
Plant walls—also known as vertical gardens—offer a refreshing green space experience to any contemporary office. These beautiful structures add an artistic element while providing all the positive feelings of being in nature to both employees and clients who walk through your office building. Even better, plant walls act as acoustic paneling, absorbing sounds in your bustling office.
Ensure your plant wall is located in an area where it will receive adequate light, has the right types of plants suitable for your work environment, and will be well maintained by a self-watering system or dedicated employees.
2. Bamboo Floors
Bamboo has many of the properties of hardwood flooring but is more ecologically friendly since it’s made from natural vegetation. An abundantly renewable resource, bamboo grows faster than most hardwood trees, some of which take more than 20 years to reach maturity.
Bamboo is both durable, lightweight, water-resistant, and easy to maintain, all pros for when it comes to redesigning your workspace with sustainability in mind.
3. Natural Light
Natural light is the No. 1 office perk for today’s modern worker, but sometimes office layouts, or even office ranks, get in the way.
Don’t just let the executives at your company have access to natural light. Instead, find creative ways to let the light in for all employees. Whether that means creating a collaborative space in your office near windows for anyone to work at or adding benches and walking paths outside the office for employees to frequent, let the light in at your modern office.
4. Air Purification
In an office setting, clean air isn’t always available. But there are some easy fixes to this problem.
For starters, make sure all the air vents throughout your building are open and unblocked, and that the air filters are replaced frequently. Adding some office plants, keeping the office clean, and maintaining a healthy level of humidity are also a few other ways to improve air quality. But the simplest method is to install an air purifier.
Other than improving the health of your employees, research shows a correlation between higher air quality and an increase in productivity.
5. Recycling and Composting
Show employees your organization cares about the environment and implement recycling and composting programs. Set up the recognizable blue cans around the office and make sure employees understand what can and can’t be recycled.
When it comes to composting, place sealable containers in your office kitchen or breakroom. Encourage employees to compost coffee grounds, vegetable wastes, eggshells, tea bags, fruit rinds or peels, and other items. Do some research on compost hauling services in your area, but if there aren’t any, think of other ways to use the material. Is there a community garden in your area that could put it to good use? Do any of your employees want it for their personal gardens?
If both the environment and the workforce are improved with one of these identifiable and affordable steps, why not get started? As you strive to make the office a green office, appoint a dedicated “Green Team” whose purpose is to meet monthly and strategize ways to improve the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
With employees as stakeholders and outcomes like better air and a refreshing environment, you’re sure to see an improvement in your office and your people.
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