Presently, Coronavirus has claimed the lives of many people globally and is continuing to ravage normal working conditions. Because of this pandemic, human beings are affected, hospitals overloaded with infected patients, the economy is falling, and many adverse situations are emerging now. However, just like a coin has two sides, this deadly virus has two sides as well. We have seen the negative side, which affects mostly humankind. The other side is the revival of Earth’s environment and climate change.
Over the past years, governments all around the world have been taking initiatives and developing new methods to reduce pollution and make the Earth greener. Acting as a catalyst, Coronavirus has been making positive impacts on the environment resulting in cleaner air, clearer water, and an improvement in the ozone layer restoration. This is the reminder, as well as an opportunity for organizations to create a better world by building a sustainable workplace. For organizations, it will be a fresh start to implement sustainable initiatives in the work environment.
What Is A Sustainable Workplace?
A sustainable workplace is one that produces a negative carbon footprint in culture and daily activity. Although every workplace can become ‘greener,’ it does not mean that they have become environmentally sustainable; what makes the difference is a shift in culture. Sustainability is also a central aspect of corporate social responsibility (CSR), which, in effect, forms an essential part of the identity of businesses. According to a survey done by HP,
- 61% said they believed workplace sustainability is mandatory
- 46% said they would work only for companies who are green-conscious
- 58% said environmentally-conscious practices are vital to engaging the future workforce
A sustainable and safer workplace creates happier and more productive workers, which eventually increases the productivity of employees and less work-related risks, illnesses, and misfortunes. It is critical in improving the organization’s overall sales and credibility. Also, organizations of all sizes across the country and around the world need to embrace this mindset as a way to showcase their values, measure impacts and outcomes, and increase their competitive advantage.
Are There Benefits To Creating Sustainability In The Workplace?
Numerous researches demonstrate that sustainability has real business advantages when integrated conscientiously into business operations. Also, companies have seen measurable benefits across a range of areas. Following are some of the benefits of practicing a sustainable workplace:
- Increase productivity and reduced costs
- Increase business ability to comply with the regulation.
- Improved brand image and competitive advantage
- Reduce waste
- Reduce the average sick days per employee
- Reduce sick leave costs
- Increase job satisfaction
- Talent retention
How To Create Sustainable Workplace?
- The Shift from Paper to Digital: The first step towards creating a sustainable work environment is the switch from paper to digital. According to a report, an average UK office worker uses about 10,000 sheets annually. Also, every person in the UK consumes the equivalent of 4.48 trees per year. These statistics showcase how organizations, as well as people, are damaging the environment by consuming papers. To prevent further damage, it is better to use software or E-paper systems to build convenience and sustainability in the workplace. By doing so, companies will be contributing to make the world a better place for everyone.
- Use of Virtual Conferences: In the last decade, technology has evolved exponentially and continues to do so. Today, there are many software and solutions exist which can help to form communication with teams. The virtual conference is one of them that can help organizations set up specific employee events, meetings, training, etc. This method saves time, energy, and other resources such as gasoline, electricity, water, and many more. Also, it is a flexible and easy method to communicate with other teams.
- Cut down the Commute: Most people daily commute to office by bus and other means of transportation. These transportations produce hazardous gases that have a negative impact on the environment and people. This also affects business budgets, with employees reporting fuel costs and workers frequently reducing value-adding jobs. According to EPA, transportation accounted for 29% of US greenhouse gas emissions in 2017. Thus, it is better to cut down the commute to stop the impact.
- Workplace design: Workplace practices are evolving, with companies embracing a more open and accessible atmosphere in the workplace. As a consequence, open-office spaces, designs inspired by nature, vertical gardens, etc. are increasingly catching up in interior design. A greener footprint is also considered to help in achieving higher workplace employee satisfaction ratings. With interior services such as posture-friendly office chairs and health cubicles, ergonomics has become a major focus.
- Energy Management: Energy is one of the essential resources which is an integral part of human lives. To create a sustainable workplace, it is better to set up smart metering and tracking systems for energy use and improve employee responsibility for performance. Also, organizations can set the office lighting, A / C, equipment, and appliances automatically off and switch on. Investing in LED and energy-efficient devices and office equipment can make the workplace more eco-friendly.
- Reuse & Recycle: A common way to promote a sustainable workplace is to set up a recycling system in the workplace. Simply set up recycling bins around the office, with dedicated bins for bottles, paper, and plastics, boost the recycling initiative. Encourage staff to join local groups that focus on environmental issues and also work towards implementing their ideas.
Investment in building a sustainable workplace should be categorized as one that will profit organizations more in the long term. These benefits may be in the form of copious natural resources and improved productivity of the employees. Also, the points mentioned above can help organizations create sustainability in the workplace. They can form a new approach as well as take an initiative that can contribute to make the world greener. In the end, companies that are emphasizing on the sustainable workplace will be at the forefront of innovation.
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