By Adrian Johansen
As modern businesses have adapted to many of the pandemic-driven disruptions to daily operations, more and more organizations are strongly supporting work-from-home arrangements for their employees. While this is excellent news for employees who have needed more flexibility in their work lives, it has created challenges for organizations looking to develop sustainable, eco-friendly working environments.
However, as most of the world has now adapted to the new normal of fully remote and hybrid working arrangements across multiple industries, businesses can begin focusing on creating eco-friendly work environments for their employees, whether in or outside of company-owned facilities.
This article will discuss how business leaders can help their employees create a sustainable remote workplace.
One of the most important and impactful changes a business can make to create an eco-friendly remote workplace is to go paperless. This means digitizing all work-related documents, forms, and communications to reduce or eliminate the need for printing. Not only does this help conserve resources like paper and ink, but it also helps reduce clutter and keeps information organized and accessible from any device or location.
Many tools and services can help businesses go paperless, including software solutions that can scan and digitize paper documents, cloud-based storage, file-sharing services, and communication tools that allow for digital messaging instead of printed emails.
By moving towards more digitized operations, organizations can leverage new forms of automation to reduce their environmental impact further. For example, many businesses are now using robotic process automation (RPA) to automatically scan and digitize paper documents, eliminating the need for human intervention in this process.
Using these tools, business leaders can help employees reduce their reliance on printing and create a more sustainable remote work environment.
Implementing Electronics and Paper Recycling Programs
Another way to create an eco-friendly remote workplace is by implementing recycling programs for electronics and paper. This means setting up collection points in office areas for employees to recycle old or broken electronics, such as computers, phones, printers, and other devices. It also means establishing a system for collecting and recycling used paper products like printer cartridges, envelopes, flyers, and brochures and making arrangements for large-volume paper shredding.
Companies can work with their facilities management teams to identify the best locations for recycling collection points and set up signage to remind employees of what can be recycled. They can also provide information about recycling different types of electronic and paper products on company websites or intranets.
Providing Energy-Efficient Work Equipment
Providing employees with energy-efficient working equipment is another great step business leaders can take to create an eco-friendly remote workplace. This includes investing in energy-efficient computers, laptops, and monitors, as well as energy-saving peripherals like printers, scanners, and routers. In addition, many modern devices come with energy-saving features like power management settings and automatic shut-off timers, which can help reduce electricity consumption.
Organizations should rely on their IT departments to ensure that all new equipment purchases are made with sustainability in mind. They can also encourage employees to use the available energy-saving features on their devices and ensure that outdated or unused equipment is appropriately disposed of or recycled.
Purchasing Eco-Friendly Furniture and Supplies
Another way for business leaders to create an eco-friendly remote workplace is by purchasing eco-friendly furniture and supplies. This can be done by selecting office furniture made from sustainable materials like bamboo or recycled wood, choosing paper products made from post-consumer waste, and selecting cleaning supplies that are non-toxic and biodegradable.
Facilities management teams can commit to finding suppliers of green office furniture and supplies, or they can purchase these items themselves through online retailers specializing in eco-friendly products. They can also make announcements to employees about the new environmentally friendly options available and provide information about using and disposing of them properly.
While many organizations may have arrangements to purchase eco-friendly furniture for employees working in remote office environments, this may not be the situation in all businesses. However, for employees who manage their at-home office purchases, companies can still encourage them to make environmentally friendly choices by providing them with a list of certified green suppliers.
Investing in Better Product Packaging
A final way for business leaders to create an eco-friendly remote workplace is by investing in better product packaging. This means looking for packaging made from sustainable materials like recycled cardboard and biodegradable plastics and choosing suppliers who use environmentally friendly printing methods.
Businesses can also work with their suppliers to create packaging that is easy to recycle or reuse. Then, when it comes time to ship products, companies can use recyclable shipping materials like cardboard boxes and biodegradable packing peanuts while also investing in carbon offsets to minimize the environmental impact of their shipments.
Business leaders can help their employees create an eco-friendly remote workplace by taking the steps listed above. Doing so will reduce the environmental impact of the organization and show employees that their company is committed to sustainability. In turn, this can increase employee morale and loyalty and i
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Adrian Johansen strives to prioritize sustainability and ethics in all she does. To that end, she writes in multiple fields, applying and promoting sustainable methods and ideals as much as possible. You can find more of her writing here.
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