Eco-Friendly Office Design Tips for Increased Productivity

Thu, Mar 1, 2012

6. Misc.

Americans spend more time at work than they do at home, and the office environment is utterly tied to worker efficiency and productivity. But with today’s environmentally-conscious design and construction environments, it’s not enough to simply build an office the cheapest or easiest way possible. It’s also important to think ‘green’, focusing on the footprint your office will leave on the planet. Commercial buildings and office spaces consume approximately one-fifth of the country’s energy, so even small changes can reap big rewards. But does an environmentally friendly office have any correlation to employee productivity? Here’s a few tips for greening your office space, and how it could improve productivity across the board.

Look up. If you’re in the position to design or renovate your office building, think about installing a green roof. Greening the roof involves covering the roof with live plants. It’s fantastic for insulation in either season, meaning less dry heat or canned air conditioning inside. Not only will you save on costs for running the office, but you may cut down on the sick days people take due to side effects from the artificial temperature control.

Upgrade the computers. Make sure you’ve got the most up to date, energy-saving computer systems in your office. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, an Energy Star computer set to the most efficient power management option can save over $75 a year for your office. But go the extra mile for the glare-cancelling screens and your coworkers will be able to work more effectively at their computers without eye strain. This will cut down on the amount of breaks they need, and when they do step away, the computer’s power management settings will put it safely to sleep. Either way it’s keeping cash in your pocket.

The sun is your friend. Natural light is the biggest blessing to those looking to redesign their workspace. The more windows your office has, the less reliant on artificial lighting you’ll be. And many studies have shown that natural light increases productivity and improves mood, so everyone will work through the day with ease. If windows aren’t plentiful in your building, you can install daylight-colored bulbs in all the fixtures. You’ll get at least some of the effect you’d get with natural light, but make sure you use a modern, environmentally-friendly bulb. They use less energy, and will last a great deal longer than a traditional light bulb. And look into smart lighting for these dozens or hundreds of fixtures in your workspace. An automated system that can shut off lights in areas when not in use will save you a boatload.

Go paperless. Eliminating or significantly reducing the amount of paper you use in your office will save thousands of trees over the life of your business. But better yet, you’ll save thousands of man-hours by losing the mountains of paperwork that need filing. People can file digitally much quicker than in a room full of cabinets. So save the planet and paper cuts at the same time.

Welcome in the outside. Is there a bit of lawn by your office building? Set up an office picnic lunch. Up a few floors? Go out on the Ipe decks for an after-work happy hour. Get your people to relate outside the workplace, and they’ll trust each other more back at their desks. People who enjoy their work are naturally more productive, and having friends at work is the fastest way to love it.

| More

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.