This week is host to a very green holiday – St. Patrick’s Day! All the green surrounding you is the perfect inspiration to make your office a little more green, and we don’t mean in color! Businesses often hesitate to make too many drastic sustainable changes to their office design. They think it will be costly and it would be simpler and cheaper to start from scratch and build an entire environmentally-friendly building. According to Whole Building Design Guide, remodeling an existing building with sustainable office changes is more cost-effective than building a new facility. To get you started, here are some green changes you can make to your office design.
Get Smart with Lighting and Climate Control
Technology does amazing things, such as controlling your lights and temperature that meet employee needs and saves money. Depending on the time of day and outdoor temperature, a smart thermostat will adjust the temperature based on day-to-day activities. This saves energy and money; according to Fast Company, summer and winter time usually results in too-cold air and too-hot heat, hurting employee productivity.
Smart lighting systems can also save on energy and money. Lights will go off if no motion is detected for a period of time and based on timer settings. Sometimes employees complain that lights go off when they are working, but that is just more reason for them to get up and move around for their health.
Make It Natural
We weren’t meant to sit inside for eight hours or more per day. Humans were born as hunters and gatherers and those instincts are still embedded in us. While it isn’t logical to perform your business processes in the woods, you can bring nature inside to help with productivity and health.
Bring plants into your office design, or if possible allow your employees views of parks or trees. While it is a bit of a remodel, adding more windows for natural light has numerous benefits. Daylight makes employees more productive and helps them sleep better, all while saving on energy. Your smart lighting system can have photosensors that detect high natural light and will turn off. While you are adding windows, SF Gate recommends installing efficient windows that block heat in the summer and retain heat in the winter.
Save Energy on Electronics
Buy office computers that have the Energy Star label to ensure they will operate extremely efficiently. In an office full of computers, efficient models will save considerable energy and money. Monitors should be set to turn off after periods of inactivity and employees should be shutting down computers at the end of the day. According to Energy Star, these activities can save $50 per computer annually. That adds up!
Still uncertain about implementing green changes in your office? A report from World Green Building Council states that creating a green office can improve employee happiness and productivity. The benefits of a sustainable office design go on and on.