July 28, 2021

How Do Companies Leasing Office Space Consider and Champion Sustainability?

Sustainable Office

Championing sustainability in your new workspace offers countless benefits to your team. You can reduce costs, increase productivity, improve brand image, and attract new employees, clients, and investors. So, how will your commitment to a sustainable office factor into your new space? Ask yourself questions about going green, including ways to incorporate green designs, energy-saving power and lighting, and reusable office supplies. 

Your decision on sustainability can influence your company’s culture in the long run. Sustainability is one of the 30 items to consider before your lease expires so you can figure out how to incorporate it into your new space. Formcraft recommends thinking about this 22 months before your lease expires, as it can be a big commitment—but starting small is the way to go.

Easy Switches to Sustainability

Your workspace environmental sustainability checklist should include a few easy swaps to get you started. Swap out paper towels for microfiber cloths, water bottles for bottleless water dispensers, and paper plates for compostable plates. Consider motion-activated light switches and keeping the shades open during daylight hours to reduce overhead lighting costs. Office suppliers like Office Depot have sustainable office supplies, including shipping boxes, pens, and file folders.

Support local shops and organic suppliers for your workspace snacks and meals. Stock up on eco-friendly toiletries like bars of soap instead of plastic containers. And perhaps the most obvious swap, recycle. Make recycling facilities and options easy for employees so they are more likely to use them. Make sure your workspace has clearly labeled and easy-to-find recycling bins. Think of ways to breathe new life into recyclable products before they hit the bin. Turn paper scraps or old printer notes into D.I.Y post-its, and keep boxes for future mailing needs.

While these swaps are easy in theory, getting everyone on board should be top priority.

Power in Numbers – Building A Sustainable Workplace

Whether or not your company has a dedicated Director of Sustainability, you should be building employee morale around sustainable practices. Championing sustainability means facilitating a brainstorm to build creative ideas and implement new systems. Ask your employees what they want to see in your new workspace. Do they care about sustainable office furniture made with low-emitting materials and recycled contents? Or would they prefer the focus to be on greenery and natural light? These conversations will allow every worker to voice their opinion on the move to a more sustainable workspace.

While in-office sustainable practices are important for your new space, consider traveling to and from the workspace. Over 3.7 billion hours and 23 billion gallons of gas are wasted due to high-volume traffic each year. What greener practices can you incentivize for your employees outside of the workplace? Building a bike rack for those commuting or creating a weeklong walking challenge are a great start. Offer bonuses or special perks for employees who carpool, drive hybrid, or bike to work. With the hybrid-work model growing in popularity, implement an updated remote work policy to reduce waste from commuting.

While sustainability comes easy to some, others will need a push in the right direction to get started. Championing sustainability inside and outside of the workplace will drastically improve company culture.

How Sustainability Impacts Company Culture

When leasing a new workspace, ask yourself how the physical space will impact your team’s overall wellbeing. Researchers discovered that people working in a green-certified building had a 26 percent increase in cognition and 30 percent fewer sick days. Some participants claimed better sleep after the workplace environment went green. So what does this mean for your new space?

While sustainable design is more common, biophilic design is a continuously rising design trend. Biophilic design inspires health and wellness by blending design, nature, and well-being. The use of greenery, natural analogues, and dedicated break areas warm up the workplace environment. This might look like a green wall, various plants around the space, and natural lighting. Though biophilic design sounds expensive, potted plants and modest water features can be smaller, cost effective solutions to bring elements of nature into a dreary workplace environment. Healthier employees are not only happier, but they tend to stay at companies longer. 

Prioritizing sustainable office supplies and sustainable office furniture is a great way to champion sustainability practices in your workplace environment and improve employee happiness. Formcraft’s design team are experts in biophilic design, so our team can help you get started building out your new, sustainable office space. Download Our Guide to Your Future Office today!