The FMP Sustainability Committee is continuing our four-part series on the topic of workplace sustainability! The first blog kicked-off the series by introducing the topic and why it matters in the workplace. The second blog delved into the sustainable processes and practices within FMP’s office. In this blog, we share considerations to make your home office more sustainable, wherever you may be.
Incorporate Natural Elements
Creating an environment that includes natural elements is not only beneficial for your well-being, but also reduces your negative impact on the earth. Consider gently used furniture while setting up your remote office – it’ll be easier on the wallet and planet! If purchasing a new item, consider sustainable sources and materials such as office supplies or furniture made from recycled materials. Also, using a more energy-efficient light source, such as LED light bulbs or natural light, helps reduce energy consumption. Not only that, “natural light in the workplace is found to improve alertness and quality of sleep.” In addition, indoor plants can serve as décor to liven up the room. “According to the Human Spaces Global Report, people who work in environments with natural elements are more productive and creative. Their perceptions of well-being also increase by up to 15%.”. Additionally, indoor plants can help reduce air pollution within your workspace.
Be Efficient with Energy
Energy efficient office practices can reduce the amount of energy office equipment consumes by 70%. For example, utilizing Energy Star-labeled office equipment can provide as much as 75% energy saving for some products. A smart power strip can also help reduce energy usage when a device is not in use.
Another aspect to consider for a sustainable remote office is office supplies. Consider whether a supply item is really needed before purchasing. This may include minimizing printer usage by printing double-sided pages or sharing files electronically. Employees may also see if the company provides supplies for their work. FMP provides office supplies and loans employees IT equipment, such as monitor, keyboard, mouse, and those pesky dongles!
Consider Food and Drink Options
What’s an office without food and beverages? Working remotely can encourage sustainable practices by using more reusable dishware and cooking healthy meals. Consider sustainable alternatives such as reusable coffee pods/filters or loose-leaf tea/compostable tea bags for your caffeine fix. FMP’s sustainability committee has a dedicated section in the weekly company newsletter to share plant-based recipes, ways to reduce kitchen plastic, and other ideas to encourage sustainable day-to-day practices.
Ditch the Car (Even for a Day)
As companies increasingly transition back to the office, consider more sustainable options for your commute. Some alternatives include public transportation, biking, or carpooling. These modes of transport are a great help to the environment by reducing air pollutants, reducing fuel use, and reducing runoff which can impact water sources. To encourage the usage of public transportation, FMP provides a Transit FSA where you can use pre-tax dollars to pay for commuting expenses. If ever you do need to drive to work, here are 10 Green Driving Tips to reduce impact on the environment.
Regardless of where you work, sustainable practices can be incorporated in many ways. These may be reducing energy usage, reusing existing items, or making more sustainable purchases. Consider the options that work best for your home office!
Louise Chan is a Human Capital Consultant at FMP Consulting. Some of her favorite project topics and areas of expertise include change engagement, survey methods, data analytics, and performance management. In her free time, Louise enjoys traveling, cycling, and spending time with friends and family.
Kayla Reid is a Human Capital Consultant at FMP Consulting. She enjoys working in areas of competency modeling, organizational assessments, and data analytics. Outside of the office, Kayla enjoys working on DIY projects, cycling, and reading.