Business Productivity

Efficiency Benefits of Having a Green Office

AUTHOR: Kayla Matthews
Advice Organization Workplace

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Companies around the world are transforming outdated workspaces into sustainable environments that benefit both employees and the bottom line.

Research overwhelmingly shows that green practices translate to increased productivity. Eco-friendly offices lead to happier, healthier and more efficient employees.

There are now more reasons than ever for companies to go green.

Boosts Cognitive Thinking

A recent study reveals green offices produce a 26 percent boost in cognition. They also saw significant improvements in information usage, strategy and crisis response.

The holistic approach of eco-efficient workspaces prioritizes the health of all employees and the environment. As a result, employees in green buildings scored 61 percent higher on cognitive function tests than employees in conventional offices.

Motivates Employees

Cities are becoming grey seas with spots of green, but research suggests the lack of color in our environment has a negative effect on efficiency. One study showed a 15 percent increase in productivity when plants were added to an office.

Employees in this study reported significantly increased workplace satisfaction, levels of concentration and perceived air quality. Improved levels of happiness lead to more efficient workers.

Promotes a Healthy Work Environment

Natural light, better ventilation, non-toxic cleaning products and plants all improve the air quality of a workspace. Companies that introduce these sustainable practices reported a significant decrease in sick days taken by employees. They also saw reduced staff turnover.

Safe cleaning products use plant-based materials in place of irritating chemicals that harm the surrounding environment. Increased exposure to these harmful chemicals can lead to long-term health issues. Healthier employees are more productive, helping businesses save as a result.

Here are some ways you can boost sustainability in the workplace:

Use the Triple Bottom Line

The triple bottom line (TBL) is now a standard in modern business practices. A company’s bottom line looks at measures such as profits, return on investment and shareholder value to determine success. The TBL expands the business world’s understanding of success by including the measure of environmental and social impact.

The TBL justifies a larger short-term investment in favor of sustainable practices that result in long-term savings. This measure is now widely used and leads to decision-making in favor of eco-friendly efficiency and longevity.

Shifting your office into a sustainable workspace begins with small but practical steps. It may even inspire more ideas and action from employees as they begin to experience the positive effects of going green.

Remember to Recycle

Many Americans still dispose of recyclable goods without putting much thought into where they end up. However, about 87 percent of Americans have nearby recycling programs for newspapers and containers, which makes it fairly easy to dispose various materials.

Place recycling bins next to every trash can in the office to prevent items like aluminum cans from going to the dump. Take it a step further and post signs on or above the bins with a list of recyclable items in your county.

Reduce Paper Waste

The world has already made a significant shift toward becoming paperless. Not only does this shift cut down on costs and paper waste, but it also helps your office run more efficiently. An electronic filing system will save you hours from digging through hard copy documents to find paperwork.

Re-Use Resources

Instead of stocking disposable paper cups at the water cooler, encourage employees to bring their own reusable cups from home to keep at their desks. Or, invest in morale-boosting personalized mugs with your company logo on them. You can even trade in the office water cooler for a virtually waste-free filtration unit.

Organize a Carpool

Post a carpool signup in a shared space in the office, and send regular memos to remind employees. Reducing carbon emissions saves the earth and saves employees gas money. Additionally, you will find ride-sharing to be a positive team-building experience.

Practice Environmental Compassion for Efficiency

Employees, clients and customers alike now demand environmental compassion and eco-friendly practices from companies. Research-backed practices of green offices are not only simple to implement, but also improve overall efficiency.

Kayla Matthews

Kayla is a productivity blogger who’s always looking for better and more efficient ways to get the most out of life. Follow her on Muck Rack to read all of her latest posts, or check out her blog, Productivity Theory, for productivity tips.

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