Updated: Apr 8
“Workplace Sustainability is the masterful balance of meeting our own needs without jeopardising future generations’ ability to do the same”
Workplace Sustainability is something that organisations are embracing and building into their company values and policies. With rapid environmental changes forcing us to become responsible for our eco-footprint and more aware of the consequences of our consumption, there is a moral and economic drive to make offices environmentally conscious.
From introducing the workplace ecosystem, and employee experience strategies, to the trends of the future smart workplace, we believe in creating a Sustainable Workplace that is adaptable, flexible and has the ability to evolve itself, organically grow, shift, and change.
We published a blog on the rise of paperless offices and how it contributes to a sustainable workplace. It provides a better experience, and a data secure environment and makes processes more efficient. However, moving toward a sustainable workplace is far more than just using less paper, In today's blog, we will discuss:
Sustainability: Environment & People
The COVID-19 pandemic took people out of offices and encouraged leaders to "re-evaluate office spaces and business practices, and set a path to a more sustainable future (Source: WWF)". In a human-centric workplace, not only have leaders had to consider the physical impact their businesses are having on the environment but also have had to consider their public reputation and the ways in which their employees feel about working for an organisation that is dedicated to corporate social responsibility efforts.
What is a sustainable workplace?
Workplace Sustainability is a balance of the planet, people, and profit to produce success and viability in the long term. In a sustainable workplace, employees are happier and more motivated in a sustainable workplace which leads to better productivity and engagement.
How can organisations achieve workplace sustainability?
Making a workplace sustainable does not only rely on changing the physical elements of your surroundings to the eco-friendlier version. It’s not just about LED/CFL lighting or paper and waste reduction – Although those things have a great impact... There are invisible initiatives your business can take in order for it to succeed in the long term.
1. Corporate Social Responsibility: Prioritise involvement in causes your people care about
According to WWF, 50% of Millennials would prioritise an organisation's involvement in various causes while searching for jobs, over organisations that take a passive stance on Corporate Social Responsibility. The business world has changed. Millennials are entering the workforce with different mindsets and priorities than in the past. For the most part, power, prestige and wealth are no longer the driving force behind choosing to work for an organisation. Today, young people are much happier to work for organisations that align with their beliefs and take corporate social responsibility initiatives seriously. Leaders must ask and listen to the causes that are important to their employees. Supporting environmental causes (for example, providing clean water in drought-stricken areas) or taking part in local community sustainability efforts, is a motivating factor for attracting new talent and retaining current staff.
2. Workplace and personal wellbeing
Work-life balance matters. There are a few initiatives that businesses can put into place to promote healthy living from within the office environment.
For example, businesses can motivate able workers to use the stairs instead of the escalators or elevators, saving energy and ensuring staff are getting their steps in.
They can also permit workers to use a standing desk to create a more ergonomic workplace. Organisations are also starting to provide incentives for their employees who cycle, ride public transport or even carpool with a colleague. This can promote a sustainable workplace culture and encourage staff to be more aware of the choices they make every day that impact sustainability.
3. Digital, hybrid, flexible
Flexible working works. Companies have gone digital by default and have offered genuine flexibility for employees to work from anywhere. Over the past two years, we have learned that hybrid working does not disrupt business and workflows. In fact, there are many benefits. It not only reduces the number of people commuting into the office and energy consumption levels, but it also has allowed businesses to consider their office spaces and repurpose their floor plans for more collaborative and agile working.
4. Reduce workplace energy consumption and save money
According to Forbes, the number of employees that go into the office will fluctuate on a daily basis due to the trend of hybrid working. With the rental cost of office space remaining the same, sustainable workplaces stand to benefit by optimising the utility costs and creating a more holistic strategy for welcoming the employees back.
5. Don't bargain - Buy quality!
Bargains often come at a high price to the planet - and still, many organisations are buying lots for cheap! Choosing products with long life cycles will benefit businesses in the long run while encouraging Workplace Sustainability.
Recyclable and repairable is the way forward. High-quality products that are built-to-last, may cost more upfront but will save cost and contribute to having more sustainable company tools.
6. Adopt durable technology that has been sustainably manufactured
Combining digital prowess and sustainable practices should be at the forefront of strategic thinking for Workplace Sustainability. Sustainable innovations are the key to staying competitive in the modern world.
Vpod's entire manufacturing process is designed to minimise waste. Our in-house manufactory with high-quality craftsmanship and a commitment to sustainability. With a wide selection of different materials to choose from, cutting-edge engineering and highly skilled technicians – We provide superior value at a fair price.
100% of our timber waste is recycled via our CO2 free 2,5mw heating system which generates the energy needed for internal processes both in terms of manufacturing and heating the facility itself.
Other sustainability features include:
Using a regenerative thermal oxidiser to avoid air pollution by the paint-coating units
Energy-saving machinery and technologies to optimise material consumption (eg wood and steel)
Automated article identification system to minimise paint wastage during lacquering
Recyclable, reusable or recycled materials are used for packaging
E1 chipboards and metal-free powder coatings
Water is recycled in a circulatory system to minimise waste
We also have logistics options that are carbon neutral.
There are many steps that all organisations can take to improve their ecological footprint and make sustainability part of their workplace value and ethics. Some are great investments, others are small choices that can be made on a daily basis. We know that the changes you make today directly influence the state of the planet tomorrow.
The commitment to Workplace Sustainability directly impacts the people that work in your organisation. From the benefits of a hybrid working model, encouraging work well-being and providing staff quality tools to get their jobs done - the moral and economic drive to put these measures in place has never been more relevant.
Learn more about creating a Workplace Sustainability
Want to increase space efficiency? Download the multi-purpose smart locker brochure
Want to digitise your reception? Download the brochure