By: Beth Barrett
Looking to bring more sustainable design and processes to your work place this year? There are good reasons to. A sustainable workplace is one that minimises its environmental impact and incorporates eco-friendly elements to create a harmonising experience for everyone. A sustainable space could even help your bottom line. Sound pretty good so far? Read on for how you can make it a workplace reality.
Sustainability in the workplace is more than a nice buzzword. In 2018 it could mean the difference between becoming an employer of choice or just another standard company. By turning your attention to sustainability you could even access to grants and awards that recognise your company’s efforts.
The end of year closure presents an opportune window to evaluate the ways that we can all introduce more sustainable practices and design elements into the workplace.
At the core of sustainable office and workplace design is the goal of becoming more energy efficient. Depending on the size of your offices, you may be able to implement far-reaching energy efficiency improvements including improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), energy efficient lighting, metering and equipment/appliance upgrades.
If your company fits into this category, it’s worth setting up bi-weekly or monthly energy efficiency reviews with your building and facilities manager and see if your current set-up is working and where it’s falling behind.
No matter the size or style of your workplace, there are likely to be a few steps you can take towards energy efficiency, including:
• Small adjustments in office temperature (without compromising comfort)
• Updating light globes for more efficient LEDs
• Encouraging laptop use in place of desktops
• Upgrading the kitchen and bathroom appliances
• Encouraging the use of stairs instead of lifts.
There are government bodies and research councils that can point you in the right direction for improved office energy efficiency. Reach out to your state’s sustainability or environmental department and ask them about business grants available.
Research has repeatedly shown that workplaces that have high environmental performance show an increase in staff satisfaction. This alone is a convincing reason to build sustainability into your business strategy.
For a new office fit-out or extension to your existing space, sustainable building materials are a fantastic choice. Sustainable hardwoods and timber not only look fantastic, they’re forested in an environmentally conscious way.
Successful office design and fit out is often achieved with an element of ‘bringing the outside in’. This could mean planning the aspect and interior layout of your space to make the best use of natural light, or bringing in some greenery.
If you’re not able to change your office structure or furniture right now, you can still introduce some nature-approved changes. Consider some of these:
• A compost or kitchen garden in your outdoor area or courtyard
• Indoor plants (for their green appeal and air purification)
• Ceiling fans
• Clearly marked and maintained recycling bins
• Going paperless
• Natural cleaning products
• Incentives and rewards for limiting rubbish
If any of these sustainability ideas spark your interest or you’d like to talk to a team that can help green up your office, you can reach out to our team at Ascot Commercial Group. We specialise in commercial interior design and have successfully helped many varied businesses bring sustainable design and practices to their spaces.