3 Ways to Make Your Office More Energy Efficient
Offices waste a phenomenal amount of energy. It’s not uncommon for computers, lighting, copiers and other office equipment to be left on all day. This excessive consumption not only damages the environment, but can significantly increase business expenditure.
These three steps are easy to implement if you want to tackle carbon emissions and reduce your outgoings in the process.
Install Air Conditioning
Comfort is one the most important aspects of retaining high levels of employee morale. An uncomfortable workforce will lead to unhappy employees, and can reduce productivity by up to 30%. The simple addition of air conditioning can create a more relaxing work environment and significantly boost job performance.
There’s a common misconception that air conditioning will increase energy bills; however, that’s simply not the case. According to National Air Warehouse a good quality air conditioning system can reduce electricity bills and carbon emissions by up to 15%. This is because programmable thermostats will retain a constant temperature and ensure you don’t waste excess energy by over-cooling your workspace.
Installing air conditioning systems may seem like a costly expense, but over time they can actually generate money. The indirect payments that will result from job performance will recoup the costs of installation within a very short space of time. And once those fees are covered, the excess will be pure profit.
Turn Off Computers
In many offices computers are left on all day and night. Turning off monitors alone won’t cut it. At the very least make sure your staff turn off their computers during the night, or if they won’t be in use for an extended period of time – lunch breaks, meetings, etc. Electricity is without a doubt the largest office expense in the billing department, yet most bosses won’t bat an eyelid when they see computers and monitors left on when they’re not in use.
In addition to turning off computers, tell your employees to switch off lights and other office equipment when they leave a room. If you need help inspiring your workforce, give them some kind of incentive program. For example, set a quota and offer the savings as a monthly bonus.
Innovation usually comes from the staff room, during those informal meetings, not from behind a monitor. Aside from decreased energy consumption, switching off computers will encourage your employees to communicate with each other directly. This will boost creativity and lead to a happier workforce.
Install Decent Lighting
Lighting can have a major impact on mood and behaviour. Use natural lighting wherever possible. Sometimes a simple reorganization is all that’s required to harness the power of the sun – moving desks closer to windows, for example. If your budget permits, consider installing skylights. This will not only brighten up the space, but will reduce lighting costs.
Think about light placement. Sometimes it’s not the power of the bulb that needs adjusting, but rather, the positioning. If you use lamps, place them in a triangular formation to maximize light projection. In addition, consider repainting your office a reflective colour. White walls and ceilings will reflect light better than dark colour schemes and could significantly brighten up the space.
Telling employees to simply change their behaviour rarely works in the long run. However, explaining the positive effect that their actions will have will instil a real sense of purpose in their efforts. The simple addition of natural light, or a reshuffling of the office, is the perfect, cost effective way to reinforce your message and show your staff that you take efficiency seriously.
Creating an energy efficient office won’t just reduce bills and protect the environment, but can also positively affect business as many people will prioritize working with companies that have green credentials. Set yourself targets and try to keep everyone motivated about making environmentally friendly changes. Consider assigning one of your employees the role of energy coordinator and make them your eyes in the office. This will help to keep your team in check when you’re not around.
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