A greener workplace means a lighter carbon footprint – and a more ethical company overall. But how can you implement eco-friendly practices in your office? As a manager or employer, there are many ways you can encourage a healthier, more productive work space for everyone at the office.
You’ve heard of the old “reduce, reuse, recycle” adage, but what about some of the most overlooked strategies for cutting down on energy usage? Consider the following ideas for your company to implement eco-friendly policies.
1. Reward Good Work
As you work on making earth-conscious practices the norm for every employee, consider instating a recognition program to identify workers who go above and beyond for the cause. Useful awards or incentives can go a long way, and by choosing eco-friendly awards to reward stellar employee practices, you’ll practice what you preach in more ways than one.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on these; something as simple as a reusable water bottle can be a great reward. Of course, larger incentives – like recycled jewelry or sustainably manufactured handbags – are a good option for recognizing employees who go beyond by leaps and bounds.
2. Cut Down on Commuting Fuel
If you have a company of 50 employees, and each employee has his or her own car, and each employee commutes to work every day through rush hour traffic… you can probably see where this is going. Greenhouse gas emissions are at a staggering high, with the average worker spending 47 hours a year stuck in rush hour traffic.
As a manager, one great way to motivate employees to cut down on their fuel usage is to offer special perks for those who carpool, drive hybrid vehicles, or ride bikes to work. Depending on your office environment and your company’s needs, you can also allow your employees to telecommute when possible. Team members will save time and money by working from home, and keeping cars off the road will help the earth’s atmosphere.
3. Let Your Equipment Rest
How many computers does your office have? Instead of leaving these machines running constantly, set them up to enter sleep mode after a few minutes of inactivity. Don’t confuse using a screensaver with sleep or hibernate mode, however, as any graphic in motion or animated sequence will utilize excess energy instead of conserving.
Further, by ensuring that employees turn off their computers at the end of the day, you’ll save the energy they would have used overnight. One way to make sure everything is completely powered down is to unplug it entirely. By connecting your computer, printer, photocopy machine, and other equipment to a power strip, you can ensure that powering down is as simple as hitting the off switch.
While some of these changes may be difficult to implement, it’s important to keep pushing toward a greener tomorrow. With enough practice, your employees will find that an eco-friendly office is second nature. Incentivizing the process can help managerial staff ensure that greening the workplace isn’t a chore – it’s simply part of company culture.