If you have an office without a green workspace policy, it’s about time to put one in place! Though change comes slowly to many traditional offices, startups and new businesses often adapt to these policies remarkably quickly, and even if it takes a while, the effect of the policy is important. There are a variety of reasons to implement such a green policy, and if you’re looking to do so, ways to do it simply and without great cost. Here’s what you need to know about green workspaces.
They reflect well on your company.
Whether you are a B2B or B2C business, being able to talk about your green workspace policy is fantastic in a culture where more people are concerned about the impact of their business on the planet. If they can say that they are partnering with or a client of a green organization, it reflects well on them, so make it easy to choose you because you are forward-thinking.
Green policies make a big difference.
You might not think that such a simple green workspace policy could make a big difference, but many environmental changes and movements have been started when large and small businesses jumped on board. You process more paper, use more electricity, and decorate more space than the average household, so it makes sense that a green policy would have a bigger impact.
You inspire change in your employees.
Today’s workforce is more inspired by social change and ethical policies than ever before. By showing that you’re open to changes in order to preserve the environment, you’re leaving the floor open for employees to come forward with green ideas that might just save you money or make your impact on the environmental movement even bigger. Inspiring change in your employees is also incredibly satisfying!
Start small and make it clear that it is important.
A token policy that people can ignore won’t do any good. Instead, you should start with a small change if you’re worried about too much change at once, but make it clear that it is important. For instance, you could move to cloud storage and synchronization services to eliminate the need to print and file paper copies of things. You can gradually add to the policy and adapt it as situations arise, but you should stand by the policy you have until then.
Make it a competition to add to employee morale.
If people feel like this change is being forced on them from the “higher-ups” it could affect morale negatively. Instead, try making it a competition – the department that generates the greatest reduction in trash volume or the department that implements the most green initiatives could win a pizza party or another fun prize, for instance.
Ensure managers don’t feel exempted from policies.
All managers and senior executives should be the leaders of this policy. If people see the CFO printing reams of paper every week, they will wonder how much good it does to use both sides of a sheet of paper themselves and the policy won’t stick. Make sure you debrief managers and executives on the details and importance of the policy.
Green workspace policies can create a big difference when it comes to your bottom line and to preserving the environment. Make sure you devise and implement a policy soon if you don’t already have one!
Jessica Watts is a retired secretary and avid blogger. You can find her helpful articles on various blog sites. To learn lots more, just go to the Electricity in Alberta site.