Top 10 sustainable tips for making your office greener!
Sustainability is a global hot topic at the moment, as it should be. Air pollution is at an all-time high, and experts are claiming that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic than sea life in our oceans. The stats are bleak, but all hope is not lost. There’s still time to help reduce our environmental impact by making small, simple changes to our everyday lives.
If you run a business, making your workspaces more eco-friendly should definitely be at the top of your agenda. Offices are hotbeds of waste and excessive energy consumption, so creating ways for your workplace to be a bit greener makes a big difference.
Plus, adopting sustainable practices in your business isn’t just beneficial for the planet; it has tons of other perks too! A greener office can save money in the long term, boost employee morale, and even promote a positive brand image. Whatever your reason for wanting to go greener, here are our top ten sustainable tips for making your office a bit more eco-friendly!
Ditch the paper and go digital
How much paper does your office get through printing agendas or taking notes during important meetings? Maybe you even have staff calendars hung up on the wall? When you take a moment to think about it, your office probably produces a lot of paper waste. In fact, the average employee is said to waste nearly 7000 sheets of paper per year!
But going paperless and embracing the digital has never been easier! In today’s super techy era, you can create and store digital copies of anything online. Contracts, manuals, proposals, you name it. Plus, going digital can be so much more organised and convenient than keeping track of various pieces of paper. You can organise and schedule meetings via Google Calendars in seconds, and you can store all your meeting notes on the Cloud, never to be misplaced again!
Use eco-friendly cleaning products
In our post-pandemic era, it’s more important than ever before to keep offices clean and sanitary for employees. But, many cleaning products used are filled with toxic chemicals that are incredibly harmful to the environment.
Make an active effort to reduce this harmful habit by finding practical, eco-friendly alternatives that’ll keep your office sparkling clean and odour free without all the bleach and ammonia. From swapping your toilet bleach for a less harmful alternative or investing in some high quality, plastic-free scrubbing brushes for your office kitchen, there are tons of easy and convenient sustainable swaps you can make for your cleaning supplies.
Reconsider your dress code
Did you know that three out of five fast fashion items end up in a landfill? That’s pretty terrible, right? Yet, so many offices perpetuate this wasteful cycle by enforcing strict dress code regulations that have staff flocking to the high street to buy brand new, workplace appropriate clothing that they only wear during certain hours in the week.
Even thrifting workwear comes with its own issues. For instance, many second-hand stores do not hold extensive sizing or styles, and even if they were able to find work fits up to scratch, it would cost them a lot more than if they were to purchase fast fashion items. And if a sustainable hack is not convenient, an individual will not implement it in their daily lives.
Not to mention, most suits and office wear garments are dry-cleaned only, a service which in itself is massively detrimental to the environment. Instead, ditch strict dress codes and encourage your employees to wear items of clothing that they already own!
Make the most of natural lighting
It’s no surprise that electricity consumption in offices is through the roof, and artificial lighting is a substantial contributing factor. But using harsh, artificial lights in the office can sometimes be unnecessary.
Try making the most of natural daylight in your offices to keep energy consumption and electricity costs down. You could even try decorating your office with light colours and furniture with glossy finishes to help the sunlight travel further!
Go green, literally!
Make your office literally greener by decorating the space with some nice plants. Plants have airborne pollutant-absorbing properties and can help oxygenate smaller spaces. Plus, studies have shown that plants can do wonders for relieving stress, enhancing productivity, and boosting the mood amongst your workforce.
Humans are known to have an innate desire to be around nature, so popping a potted plant here and there can help rid your workspace of that unpleasant sterile office feel and can even cultivate a happier, healthier environment for your workers.
Provide reusable items
Wasteful habits are generally born out of convenience. If no drinking glasses are available in the kitchen, a thirsty worker will automatically pick up a plastic or paper cup instead. By providing reusable items for your office, you can eliminate these bad habits and reinforce sustainable ones.
Make sure your office kitchen is fully equipped with glasses, mugs, and cutlery for your workers to use throughout the day. If you want to take this one step further, you can even provide your employees with sustainable travel mugs and water bottles. This would encourage your employees to ditch plastic bottled water and single-use coffee cups when they are out and about.
Equip your outputs with smart plugs
As we’ve already mentioned, offices get through a heck of a lot of energy. They are full of equipment that needs power, and they are often big spaces that need to be heated up or cooled down to keep the people inside comfortable and productive! But with all the various pieces of technology fuelling your business, it can be easy to forget to turn everything off once your office is not being used.
Avoid unnecessary consumption by using smart plugs to help keep energy consumption to a minimum when nobody is in the office. A smart plug is a simple adapter that can be programmed to turn off the power during certain hours of the day or can even be controlled via an app on your phone.
Implement a rewards scheme
Many businesses already have a cycle to work scheme, but if you’re commuting long-distance (or through the rain), biking it to work is not always a solid option! Get creative about what other rewards systems you can put in place to encourage your employees to be more eco-friendly in their practices.
For instance, you could partner with sustainable companies to provide your staff with discounts on green products. Or you could come up with a rewards scheme for employees who hit green goals, such as increased recycling, reduced energy consumption, etc. If you struggle for ideas, have a brainstorming session with employees and see what great ideas they can come up with!
Allow hybrid or remote working
In our post-pandemic world, the idea of remote working is much more accepted and embraced by corporations. It’s been said that a whopping 70% of companies are planning to permanently adopt the hybrid working model. And why not? Remote work is a huge drawing card for most job candidates!
But not only are workers loving this new working situation, so is the environment. Reduced commutes mean reduced carbon emissions from those who would otherwise be driving or catching public transport to work five days a week. Alongside reducing greenhouse gases and improving air quality, remote working also reduces paper waste, as those who are working from home are more accustomed to sharing documents digitally.
Swap to Quokka coffee!
Ahh, coffee. They say that offices run off of coffee. With the average office worker drinking up to 1000 cups of coffee a year, it’s no surprise that coffee products can cause a large amount of an office’s waste. Even if you avoid the plastic-packed instant coffee pots or the single-use coffee pods, it can be challenging (and very expensive!) to find an office coffee supplier that doesn’t offer products that end up straight in landfills.
But with Quokka, you don’t have to worry about that. We’ve designed our instant coffee containers with sustainability in mind. Not only are our tins 100% recyclable and single-use plastic-free, but we also pledge to donate 10% of our annual profits to various environmental charities!
Most importantly, however, is that our instant coffee is of premium quality. We know that instant coffee can be bitter or bland, and nobody needs to start off their working day with a hauntingly awful cup of woe. Our freeze-dried instant coffee is made from the finest Arabica beans in the whole of Colombia to give you a wonderfully smooth and satisfying coffee every single time!
Looking for premium, sustainable coffee to fuel your workforce? Head on over to Quokka today and check out the many office coffee bundles that we offer! Whether you need a little or a lot, full throttle or gentle decaf, customising your coffee order could not be easier with Quokka!