How to Provide a Sustainable Hybrid Workplace
The Earth’s surface is marked by a constant phenomenon: change. In recent years, the “Blue Planet” has faced unprecedented challenges in terms of the environment and climate, which pose a threat to our prosperity and even our very own existence. Even if the subject is a sharp one, we can still limit some negative actions.
For example, the EU has committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Reaching this objective will require a transformation of Europe’s economy, which will need to be cost-effective, and socially balanced. Besides that, the European Commission plans to update its rules on worker safety to reflect the anticipated digital and green recovery.
Therefore, the world is actively making an effort to be more sustainable, and the business environment should not be an exception. As the New Year will be characterized by the implementation of the hybrid work model, below we have gathered a few easy steps that you can follow to start the conversion process to a circular economy and a sustainable hybrid workplace.
1. Set up a recycling program
Even though it is the easiest practice that can be adopted at the organizational level, recycling is often neglected. A relatively simple action, such as placing baskets for selective collection, can have a significant lasting impact.
If your office has a kitchen, it would make sense to add a sealed compost bin for residential waste. In principle, the idea is to have as many areas with recycling options as possible, so that employees can easily choose eco-friendly solutions.
2. Use less paper
Because the hybrid work model also involves on-site employees, in such situations, most office waste is typically paper. As we have already seen, we live in a time when work can be successfully done digitally and not all specifications need to be printed.
By using less paper, greenhouse gas emissions will be drastically reduced. At the same time, there are various technologies, which have been created precisely to eliminate and replace large amounts of paperwork. Moreover, as hybrid work is taking the labour market by storm, it’s in the best interest of any employer to encourage written communication within their company.
3. Use decorative plants in interior design
Plants produce oxygen, which helps to compensate for any chemicals released during the work schedule. The result: cleaner and purified air, which improves the health of employees and has a direct link with increasing productivity.
Some sustainable hybrid workplaces incorporate various natural elements in their set-up, such as living plant art, plant walls, or vertical gardens, both from the desire to have a special design piece and to provide better air quality. At the same time, such components contribute to sound absorption that is a plus for loud open spaces.
4. Measure office power usage
In general, there is no reason why any source of electricity should be left turned on overnight. For example, many companies use sensors so that the lights turn off automatically when no motion is detected. Simultaneously, the standard light bulbs can be replaced with LEDs, because they consume 75% less energy for the same power.
Natural light and light-coloured wall painting are also excellent solutions that ensure lower energy consumption and increase employee productivity. Depending on the operational budget, organizations may consider green energy sources such as solar, hydraulic or wind energy, biomass, etc.
5. Choose a flexible working model
Depending on the nature of the business you run, you should most likely ask yourself, “is it really necessary for every employee to come to the office every day?”.
Currently, various alternatives ensure real-time collaboration of employees regardless of their geographical location. A significant percentage of professional tasks can be performed efficiently in the remote or hybrid system also reducing the carbon footprint at the company level.
At the same time, organizations should explore offering a flexible work policy if this is a viable option. Employees may also be encouraged to choose eco-friendly transportation such as bicycles, electric cars, or public transport.