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How Going Green Can Help Employees

Posted by Norma Anthony on Jun 17, 2016 10:30:00 AM

The term “eco-friendly” seems to be everywhere these days. It’s on new cars, home furnishings, clothes, food and the list goes on. There’s no denying the benefits of living an environmentally friendly lifestyle, but have you considered how an eco-friendly office can lead to happier, healthier employees?

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If you’re thinking of making your office greener, here’s a few ways you can create an eco-friendly office space and how they improve employee morale and productivity.

Brighten up the space

Don’t underestimate the importance of natural light. Natural light can boost employees’ moods and reduce stress. If possible, place employee work areas near large windows and keep blinds open (at least when the sunlight isn’t blinding). A simple rearrangement of desks can make all the difference in workplace morale. When employees can see the outside world, they’re less likely to feel cooped up.

Include plants

Plants offer numerous benefits in not only households but the workplace as well. Adding plants to your office space will reduce stress, improve productivity and cleanse the air of toxins. Most office buildings contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), gases emitted from certain solids and liquids. These gases include chemicals that can lead to a range of short- and long-term negative health effects.

These gases are emitted from indoor items like paint and furnishings and office equipment such as copy machines and carbonless copy paper. Plants improve indoor air quality by filtering out these compounds. They absorb the gases through their leaves and roots, offering long-term health benefits for employees.

Go paperless

Gone are the days of printing out every single document needed to keep an office running. Companies are closer than ever to achieving a paperless office thanks to Google Drive, phone apps, electronic invoices, etc. A paperless office will not only reduce your company’s carbon footprint but also alleviate organizational concerns for employees. Instead of searching through piles of paperwork for a single document, employees can simply search for a file on their computer, tablet or smartphone.

Transform the office entirely

Take time to consider your office space and how you can make your workplace “greener.” You could try cutting back on energy consumption or including BPA-free water bottles in the break room. Or you could offer healthier food options, such as a weekly organic brunch, to promote healthy eating habits. These changes will help you achieve an environmentally friendly workspace and may even motivate employees to continue these practices outside of the office.

A greener office space will improve employee satisfaction and productivity. By adding plants or ensuring employees have access to natural light, you’ll help reduce work stress and make proactive steps toward creating an eco-friendly office. You’ll know you’re helping the environment at the same time you’re improving your workplace.

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Topics: office redesign, office design

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