January 3, 2019

Three Ways Companies are “Going Green” in the Workplace

Employers are finding innovative ways to go green in the workplace, from big-picture design elements to more minor details. Investing in green initiatives is not just a gimmick to satisfy a fleeting trend; there are evidence employees happier and healthier in workplaces that make sustainability a priority. For a company considering a renovation or relocation, these three elements of sustainability are sure to be relevant to their search. Consideration for environmental, social, and economic sustainability means that a company is self-aware of its impact on the places and people it touches. Awareness of impact can lead to more mindful solutions that translate into a happier and healthier workplace.

Go Green in Your Office with Biophilic Design

If you are interested in a big-picture innovation connecting your workplace with nature, consider the biophilic design. The term describes incorporating plants and other natural elements like water and light into indoor space that mimics outdoor environments. The growing interest in biophilic design has resulted in several high-profile office projects incorporating it at every level of the design process, resulting in beautiful spaces filled with light and greenery. While global companies with luxurious modern offices have found large-scale ways to incorporate biophilic design, it doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. Potted plants and modest water features can be smaller, cost-effective solutions to bring elements of nature into a dreary office.

LEED Certified Buildings

Companies that are considering relocation might be interested in narrowing their search to a building that is LEED-certified. The Green Building Council (USGBC) certifies buildings based on energy efficiency, construction materials, and indoor environmental quality. LEED Certified Offices are becoming more common as employers find that the quality of the buildings makes a difference in the health and happiness of their employees. A recent study from the USGBC found that employees who work in LEED-certified green buildings are happier, healthier, and more productive than employees in conventional and non-LEED buildings. The study also revealed that 80% of respondents say that being productive on the job and having access to clean, high-quality indoor air contributes to their workplace happiness.

Location, Location, Location

Relocation to a LEED-certified building is a great way to boost employee health and happiness. Still, employers should consider how their geographical location impacts their efforts for greater sustainability. Many suburban office parks are too far from transit and residences for employees to walk or ride to work and require almost every individual employee to drive. The impacts of vehicular travel are well known to impact environmental quality negatively, and the personal health impact of sitting in traffic can cause higher levels of stress and obesity. Locating your office in a mixed-use area with opportunities to live and work in a walkable or transit-accessible location can lessen your company’s impact on the local environment and create opportunities for employees to maintain a more excellent work-life balance and higher quality of life!

Formcraft is a Philadelphia-based design and construction firm that specializes in workplaces. To see examples of Formcraft’s work, contact the team today to find out how your workplace can ‘go green,’ click here!