7 Ways to Create a Modern, Eco-Friendly Office Space
- 1 - Be smart with climate control
- 2 - Maximize natural light
- 3 - Green up
- 4 - Encourage sustainability
- 5 - De-clutter and neutralize
- 6 - Make recycling easy
- 7 - Design with recyclables
So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized – ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s the worst day of my life. – Peter Gibbons (Office Space, 1999)
If this quote relates to you or your employees, it’s time to think about improving your workplace. Of course, this includes more growth opportunities and better salaries, but it also means creating a more pleasant work environment.
Many studies are proving that the layout of the office, the work zones, and the interior décor have a profound impact on productivity and overall mood.
Additionally, taking the eco-friendly approach can save energy and contribute to preserving our planet. Here are some ways you can achieve all that while adding a modern edge to your office space:
1 – Be smart with climate control
Cooling and heating can take a toll on the electricity bill, and wouldn’t it be smarter to spend the extra money on salaries or bonuses?
Natural ventilation and proper insulation can help with that, but there are plenty of things you can achieve simply by being smart with climate control.
One of the things you can do is to get programmable thermostats to control the temperature settings one room at a time. That’s a great way to avoid wasting energy on empty conference rooms or any other unused spaces.
2 – Maximize natural light
Natural light offers plenty of benefits, including improved sleep, enhanced mood, better vision, boosted creativity, and upgraded overall mood and health.
Unsurprisingly, access to natural light during work hours has a beneficial effect on work performance.
The easiest (and by far the best) way to introduce more of it is to get larger windows. Of course, you need to think about energy-efficiency, so go for double- or triple-glazed types. If this is not an option, you can install skylights. You can find the last resort in natural-light emitting fixtures.
3 – Green up
A study called The Effects of Nature Contact at Work on Employee Stress and Health showed that increasing contact with nature can help reduce stress at the workplace and increase productivity.
Furthermore, a paper on office space design pointed out that workers can be 15% more productive when clean offices are filled with just a couple of houseplants. So, you know what to do next.
4 – Encourage sustainability
The eco-friendly office doesn’t exclusively refer to design.
It also includes the way employees and managers are behaving, starting from choosing a coffee supplier that cares for sustainability to replacing single-use plastic cups with ceramic mugs.
Keep in mind that the basic office supplies have earth-friendly alternatives, such as bamboo pencils and fully-recycled paper.
Create a habit of turning off and unplugging the electronics at the end of the day. You can create an entire team in charge of taking care of the “green” solutions and organize meetings every week or month, where you’ll discuss possible upgrades to your eco-friendly plan.
5 – De-clutter and neutralize
Physical clutter causes mental clutter – it’s as simple as that.
So, try not to overcrowd the space with furniture, accessories, and paper. The use of paper, in particular, should be at the bare minimum.
Neutral colors on the walls can give the office a modern touch and make it seem more spacious, while pops of color in the form of plants and details can fill up the room with energy.
6 – Make recycling easy
Going paperless is a difficult challenge, and it will take time to accomplish it.
While you’re in the process of trying, provide your employees with easy access to recycling facilities. The bins should be nearby and color-coded for paper and other waste.
Also, when it comes to recycling electronics, you have three options: donate to charity or a non-profit, bring it to a designated recycler, or take it to some of the electronics manufacturers or retailers who have recycling programs.
7 – Design with recyclables
This step comes last because it is for business people who want to take it to the next level. However, office furniture made out of recyclables is becoming more popular and available.
Other than being very modern and stylish, these pieces also send a message to employees as well as visitors, emphasizing your company’s green culture.
Office supplies can also be made out of recycled materials. And if you want to think bigger: flooring and construction materials are also available in reclaimed forms.
The office space should be a pleasant environment where the employees will feel comfortable and motivated to do their absolute best.
That’s why it’s important to design it in a human-friendly way, with plenty of natural light, spaciousness, and contact with greenery.
Still, in these challenging times, this is not enough. The interior, as well as the staff’s office habits, need to be eco-friendly. Hopefully, these tips will teach you a little something about both of these aspects.