Workplaces today are not just about business and employees. They have become about a better quality of life leading to enhanced productivity. In fact, over the last few years, it has become quite apparent that a sustainable office is improving the work environment and boosting employee morale.
While most people adopt various ways to be sustainable, organizations too have made ‘sustainability’ a part of their business goals. Adopting eco-friendly products and green energy are not only helping save the environment but are also proving to be easier on the pocket to most companies. To add to this, policies like the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 13 and support from the government have made having a ‘sustainable office’ far more beneficial for all.
Let’s first understand, what’s a green office?
In simple words, a green office tries to reduce environmental impact to the highest extent possible. This effort starts from the design and construction stage and extends to daily operations too.
But does that mean that old buildings cannot be green?
Absolutely not. Older buildings too can take steps to reduce their carbon footprint. With little changes, a sustainable office can lead to long term benefits for employees and employers alike.
How do organizations benefit?
- Lower bills and higher long-term profits
A sustainable workplace doesn’t just reduce its environmental footprint, it also is financially viable in the long run. Simple steps like using natural light or recycling can help reduce costs. In short, sustainability can save energy, water, waste and labour costs which ultimately impacts the bottom line.
- A better company image
When it comes to the world of business, image is everything! Clients and even employees are usually attracted to one that has a good reputation. They are sure to appreciate a company that tries to be sustainable. The company will be seen as caring – towards employees, clients and the environment!
How do employees’ benefit?
- A happier and healthier workplace
The environment one works in affects one’s mood and health. Greenery in the office not only improves air quality but also add liveliness to the environment. They also take pride in being associated with a company that supports sustainability, adding to their sense of achievement.
- More productivity
There are a lot more climate-conscious and aware employees now than ever. Employees of green offices also show more productivity. This is because they have more pride in their work and are happy to work for organisations that are sustainable. This adds a sense of responsibility for the employees and encourages them to work harder.
How do you make your office sustainable?
Going green does not require major effort. It may be easier than you think. You can start small and then look towards bigger ones. Here are a few tips:
- Clean responsibly
Switch to non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaning products
- Make coffee sessions ‘green’
Coffee breaks are a must at most offices. But these too can be made ‘green’ with a simple change. Move to reusable coffee cups, cutlery and plates.
- Go digital
Do everything you can to reduce paper consumption at your workplace. Take prints on both sides of the paper. If you can, avoiding taking prints altogether. When possible, use recycled paper and packaging materials
- Let there be ‘natural’ light
Use natural light wherever possible. You can also look at replacing all your standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Build hybrid working communities
With hybrid work becoming the new norm, you can encourage employees to carpool to office. This will save on office costs and reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.
- Switch off
Give your electrical appliances and lights a break too. Switch them off when no one’s in the room. Post signs by the switch boards to remind employees to do their bit too.
How does JLL help
At JLL, we help our clients translate their sustainability ambitions into action through our end-to-end suite of sustainability services. We help them manage climate risk in their building portfolios and decarbonize their real estate.
From concept to reality, energy supply to waste management, we offer innovative yet convenient solutions that will have a bigger impact in the future. Our range of services is complemented by our drive to be technologically-forward, thereby offering automation, tracking and management of services. All of this comes with our professional who have been trained on sustainability related topics.
Research suggests that sustainability features among the top 3 considerations while leasing real estate. It further says that around 87% of occupiers and 78% of the investors accept that climate risk poses a financial risk. For a financially successful organization, the current situation presents the perfect opportunity to make a switch towards being sustainable.
The adoption of sustainable practices can result in reduced emissions and better health of employees. And employees in better health spell a better future for the organization while working towards a larger cause i.e., building a sustainable and healthy future for all.
Kumar Ramaiah, Director of energy & Sustainability services JLL