Millennials commonly refer to life after college as “adulting,” and it’s where we spend a vast majority of our career. We can hop from one workplace to the next, spending a ton of nine-to-fives making sure we get our duties done, taxes done, pays done – and it’s supposedly a never-ending cycle. However, just because we’re working all day doesn’t mean we don’t get opportunities to observe better ways of taking care of the environment. In fact, eco-friendly habits in the workplace is just as possible as though we’re at home.
In fact, studies show “going green” can in fact save money for businesses. A report published in 2012 discovered hospitals that reduced waste production and energy consumption can potentially save as much as $15-million over a decade, and a University of Paris-Dauphine and UCLA study the same year said employees in eco-friendly companies are also 16-percent more productive, motivated, and trained. So how can you reap these benefits as well? Here are some ways:
- Cloud-based integration is becoming the norm, especially when it comes to work optimization. A lot of companies are starting to remove the need for paper-based documents and transactions when there’s the cloud for their documents. This makes shelves and stock rooms for paper almost obsolete, and there’s almost no chance of papers being lost and misplaced and even destroyed due to the resilience of the cloud. Not only that, but people can now access and modify documents with ease and without wasting too much resources thanks to the features of cloud-based technology.
- Reducing paper waste is being a normal occurrence, thanks to our reliance to digital technology. Aside from the cloud, the reliance of companies towards technology is general is making printing almost (if not entirely) obsolete. This is because transactions, communications and correspondences can now be done in the convenience of devices. There is a slow transition towards relying on technology to make all aspects of operations work, so there’s almost no need to bring so many papers around.
- Use light emitting diode (LED) bulbs, as they actually spend up to 30-times less energy than incandescents. Not only that, they actually last 25-times longer than the aforementioned bulbs, which can take a lot of savings in for you and your company. They might be a bit more expensive than incandescents, but the investment you’d put on LED bulbs means you’ll have bulbs that can last for as much as two decades. This can save a lot in terms of energy, especially if you run a 24/7 office. Estimates suggest that the United States could save as much as $30-billion by 2027 if LED lights are used all around the country.
- Go eco-friendly with furniture. Although the idea of buying second-hands might be a bit iffy for some, used items can easily cut a lot of costs in terms of furniture and even reduce waste in landfills. The highs and lows of the economy leave a lot of businesses unable to resume operations, and as such they tend to leave their furniture behind for others. These can save a ton of money in terms of logistics. In the same token, those who want to buy new furniture should invest in furniture from green materials, as they tend to be last longer even if they cost a bit more.
- Remote working can be considered “green” even if it’s not directly affecting the environment. Allowing employees to work from home can actually reduce the total carbon footprint of your company’s offices and even by commuting. Workplace Analytics said when this strategy was applied by IBM, it cut down real estate costs by as much as $50-million!
- Encourage healthy eating. While this is more “healthy” than “green,” there are a lot of perks that could be achieved by letting employees get used to eating healthy. Removing snack bars and having them eat natural cafeteria food can actually cut a lot from your carbon footprint. If you do have unfinished food in the cafeteria, consider making them into compost, and even donating them to farms that accept these donations as they can become extremely rich and potent soil for plant growth.
Takeaway: It’s About Optimization
When we talk of “optimization,” we may more or less remember a spiel or a speech of one of our bosses about making sure we get our tools and our processes in order, and that we “streamline” everything to make processes easier for us. Eco-friendly habits in the workplace help us do this as well. Aside from being able to help conserve and protect our natural resources, being eco-friendly is also a resource-friendly way of optimizing the resources we have.
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