With better spring weather finally on it’s way, it feels like everything outside is becoming fresh and new! Which is why lots of people are thinking about refreshing their office environments too – so we’re being kept busy with customers wanting to buy new furniture for their workspace.
We’re all for making your work environment feel fresh and new – whether you need to fit some new team members into your workspace or simply refresh some old, tired workstations.
But with Earth Day coming up on Sunday 22nd April, we think it’s important to consider the world outside your office too – so why not challenge yourselves to implementing one environmental policy for every new change you make? Here are our suggestions for how you might do it…
Switching Your Furniture?
Redecorating an entire office can seem like a daunting prospect from the outside – with so many individual furniture items to consider, and so many places to start, it’s not surprising that a lot of companies will put off making major changes to their work environment for as long as possible.
Thanks to near-constant design and manufacturing innovations, there are so many emergent approaches to working – like sit-stand desks and workstations, for example – that are growing more popular and more affordable every day.
…Why not switch your printing at the same time?
Many offices are currently trying to reduce their paper usage, and in the most extreme cases, going almost completely paper-free. One estimate for the amount of paper wastage from printing and copying errors alone is a staggering 60% of paper used – making paperless operation an even more valuable choice, both for the environment and for economy.
However, not every office can go 100% paper free – the UK is particularly fond of hard copies when it comes to forms and documentation, and there are plenty of situations where having only a digital copy is either impractical or simply unsuitable.
That’s where a service like Managed Print can help – by providing you with a better way to track your usage and keep an eye on costs, you can work on reducing your print resources more effectively (and streamline the supply chain of ink and toner to boot!)
Plus, you can really reduce your printing impact by switching to recycled paper. Paper recycling has come a long way in recent years – many of us still picture the more coarse, off-white sheets of the recycled paper of years past, but nowadays there’s usually almost no way to tell a sheet of recycled paper from a regular one.
With such improved paper quality now readily available, making the decision to switch to more responsibly sourced, recycled paper is now an easy choice for many offices. Plus, while recycled paper is generally more expensive than regular paper, the actual price difference is usually only very marginal, and the gap will close with increased volumes.
Making a new plan for your office?
When it comes to picking a style or visual theme for an office environment, not everyone will necessarily have a fully formed picture in mind of exactly how they want it all to come out. Style choices aside, there are also meaningful practical considerations involved with redecorating an office – the arrangement of the furniture can radically change the feeling and the usefulness of a space, and by extension dramatically influence the mood of a room, potentially affecting the productivity of those working.
Something as simple as an abundance of natural light has a demonstrable effect on behaviour; those who sit near a window or in a well-lit space are often more relaxed and less irritable than those who work in darker environments, or under harsher artificial light. Also, don’t forget how much temperature can affect your employees – positioning someone right underneath an air conditioner will give them a vastly different experience to their colleague sitting by a sun-drenched window.
To help you avoid some of the many pitfalls of space management, we offer a free Space Planning service as part of our comprehensive furniture range (just get in touch to find out more).
…make a new plan for your team!
As with so many things in life, switching products and tools to be more environmentally friendly is only half the battle – the other, often more difficult half is to change the attitudes and habits of those who are using them. For this reason, it can be beneficial to have an officially appointed Environmental Awareness leader or team, to better organise and implement new ideas and strategies to reduce the company’s environmental impact.
At Office Needs we have our own setup, geared towards what we’ve found works for us – a representative group of staff gather for a yearly review, led by our Head of Sales and designated environmental lead, in which ideas are suggested and reviewed in order to form a realistic action plan for the year ahead.
So far, some of the strategies we’ve adopted include:
- Switching to electric vehicles in our fleet of delivery vans
- Installing solar panels on our building that generate a meaningful percentage of our power usage
- Switching to exclusively energy efficient lighting throughout the office and warehouse
and so much more!
That’s all from me this week, but I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and you’re ready to start implementing some new environmental ideas!
Join us next week for Part 4 of ‘Spring Forward’!
Want to be more productive throughout 2018?
Keep up with this blog for tips, tricks and great products to help you!