All I Want for Christmas…Is a Green Office Workspace

As the earth moves towards winter solstice, the days get shorter, the nights grow longer and a crisp chill fills the air. All this adds up to the fact that it will not be long until you begin to use more energy to heat and light your office space.

As a business owner, you have a responsibility to prevent the overuse and abuse of the earth’s resources, yet saving energy in the workplace can be hard work when the cold winter months draw in.

The good news is that by making a few simple changes, you can reduce your office’s energy consumption and reduce your running costs. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Light efficiently

Artificial lighting accounts for a large proportion of energy use in office workspaces, so it is essential to encourage your employees to limit their usage wherever possible.

For instance, when employees are entering a room, they should be advised to only switch on the lights in the areas where they are working. Similarly, they should be encouraged to turn off the lights whenever they leave an unoccupied room for long periods of time.

You should ensure that your employees are aware of which lights should be left on and when. For example, you may instruct your employees to light the main office entrance continuously, but to light up conference rooms only when they are in use.

If you have money to spare, you may wish to install timer switches and daylight sensors, which will help you to avoid unnecessary energy consumption. To save on the cost of lighting, you should purchase energy efficient light bulbs. These bulbs use less energy than regular light bulbs, and when installed in conjunction with timers and/or motion sensors, they will significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Power off at the end of the working day

One of the biggest wastes of electricity in office workspaces derives from equipment that is left on standby mode when it is not in use.

A flat screen desktop computer left on standby overnight and at the weekend can use around £20 of electricity each year. If your office houses ten computers, you will waste a whopping £200 of electricity and generate 860 kg of carbon dioxide each year.

However, you can curb your energy usage by asking your employees to turn off their computers, along with the power strips that they are plugged into, whenever they leave the office at the end of the working day. During the day, you should encourage your employees to conserve energy by setting their computers to sleep whenever they take quick rest breaks.

Heat and cool efficiently

Old and dated air conditioning systems can use more energy too. However, they will help you to maintain a comfortable working environment for your employees, and modern designs can help you save more money.

In recent years, many companies have taken steps to increase the efficiency of their air conditioning systems. If your system is old, you may wish to ask an accredited energy assessor to review the size and adequacy of your system and advise you on any necessary improvements or replacements.

While it is important to ensure that your employees remain content in your office space, slight adjustments in the temperature of your workplace can lead to great savings. You should therefore encourage your employees to adjust the thermostatic level according to their needs and preferences.

If overheating occurs, you should ask your employees to turn down the radiators rather than open all the windows as well.

Go digital

If your office has already transitioned to the use of recycled paper, why not go one step further? The more you do over the Internet, the less paper you will consume. Thus, the smaller your workplace’s carbon footprint will be.

Your employees will not need to print out every email and document they receive. By keeping files on their computers and reviewing them on screen rather than on paper, your employees will eliminate paper waste and help to contribute to a greener office.

To transform your office into a green workspace, you will need to share your ideas with your employees and encourage them to work together as a team. While breaking bad habits may seem like a challenge, your efforts will be worthwhile. Once you have mastered the art of “going green”, it is important to remember that a green office is for life, not just for Christmas!

This post was written by Oakland Group, an energy efficient solution company who operate across the UK.

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