Environmental sustainability is no longer just a concern for homeowners. More and more businesses are getting on board with green initiatives, as one of the major benefits is cost-efficiency. Because of this, shared office spaces have become hugely popular in commercial real estate with their ability to support an abundance of green practices, including reduced energy consumption. So what is it that makes shared office spaces eco-friendlier than a traditional office? Well some of the advantages can include:
One of the biggest drawcards for operating in a shared office is the ability to share resources. By sharing areas such as kitchens, boardrooms and common rooms, energy consumption is significantly less. Not only will you minimise your carbon footprint, you’ll also minimise your costs.
The days of hammering away at your keyboard between partitioned walls under harsh fluorescent lights are well in the past. Step into the future with… sunlight! Utilise natural light by setting up offices near windows and keep the décor light and bright to help illuminate the space even further, then watch your power bill plummet.
Of course, lights will still be a necessity in many places. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be smart about how you use them. Installing motion-activated lights ensures that only rooms in use have the lights on. Anytime a room becomes vacant, you can be sure that the lights are switched off.
Incorporating some greenery into the workspace is a rising eco-trend that brings huge benefits to workers. When people don’t feel like they’re trapped indoors all day, there is an increase in productivity. And not only do plants oxygenate the office atmosphere, creating a healthy and refreshing environment, they also scent the room with natural fragrance, which often eliminates the need for harsh chemicals.
What some other ways to go green in the workplace?
Commercial real estate really isn’t much of leap from domestic real estate in terms of sustainability. The ‘Three Rs’ – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle still apply, and can be expanded to include Repair and Rethink as well. With that in mind, here are some quick, cost-efficient ways of reducing your carbon footprint in the workplace.
- Stock reusable pens – this helps eliminate the huge and unnecessary waste of disposable pens. Instead, only stock refills to help create incentive for people to keep track of their pens.
- Keep tabs on the supply cabinet – assign one or two people to keep tabs on supplies. Doing so encourages workers to be less wasteful of supplies than they may otherwise be.
- Eliminate waste in printing – those mostly blank, pointless pages at the beginning or end of a document, delete them before you print.
- Go digital – Presentation slides, emails and online materials are a much more economical option than distributing print copies of everything and anything for all members of the office.
- Buy environmentally friendly paper – paper in the workplace will probably never become obsolete, but you can still make greener choices. Recycled paper or paper made from more sustainable substances are better options.
- Update mailing lists – if you need to post content via snail mail, make sure the mailing lists are accurate. It will help save on paper, printing and postage.
- Photocopier and printer settings – avoid colour printing when you can, and keep your default settings to print on double sides.
- Use smaller font – there’s no need to minimise your font to ridiculously small sizes, but you’d be surprised at just how much paper per week can be saved by implementing this very small change.
- Power down – you may be surprised to know that the majority of office power consumption is actually by machines that are off, but still plugged in. To reduce power usage, power down and disconnect all devices of an evening.
- Eliminate screen savers – this is such a simple, yet highly effective power-saving technique. Instead of screen-savers, set monitors to power off after the same amount of time.
- Consider solar power – solar power is becoming hugely popular. Installation expenses often put people off, but the payoffs in the long run are enormous.
As far as commercial real estate goes, shared office spaces are not only perfect for reducing costs, they’re also the perfect environment to foster healthy, eco-friendly practices for reducing your carbon footprint.
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