How an environmentally friendly office space can boost productivityMonday, June 09, 2014 by: Greener Ideal
You may not know it, but your working environment plays a massive role in your productivity throughout the day. You might think that factors such as tiredness and stress can also play a part, which is true, but these too are largely regulated by your office space.
For example, a small, dark room with low ceilings and few windows will make you feel closed in and stressed. Not having the personal space you need can ignite disagreements between colleagues and cause an unhealthy atmosphere.
An environmentally-friendly office space on the other hand, can actually help to boost productivity at work. A report by the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability found that employees at companies who consciously adopt ‘green’ values are 16% more productive than the average. It seems that the benefits of being eco-friendly stretch further than just helping the environment. The report touches on the idea of a ‘virtuous circle’ whereby a company which is seen to be doing good attracts likeminded people. This then creates a continuous circle of positivity within the company.
So, if you’re an employee what changes can you make to ensure productivity as well as an eco-friendly workplace? Equally, as an employee, what can you do to optimise your own workspace?
Employees can take heed of offices such as Powerhouse Kjørbo in Norway which has been recognised as the world’s most environmentally-friendly office building. It has been renovated into an energy-positive building which means that it generates more energy than what was used to build it. The design of the building also means that it boasts light open spaces, which have been proven to aid productivity and ease stress.
Having healthy snacks available can also be a good way to promote healthy eating and reduce the side-effects which come with junk food and processed goods. Fairtrade and natural products are beneficial to the mind as well as the body.
If you’re looking for ways to maximise your own workspace, either at work or in the home, there are lots of ways you can do this. Try going paperless to cut down on unnecessary waste. You’ll be surprised at how much paper you use in a day, when most documents can be stored online. Cutting down on the amount of paper in your office can also make for a tidier and more streamlined office environment.
Adopting Feng Shui methods can also help to boost productivity. Feng Shui promotes the seamless flow of energy and this means organising your space in such a way that energy has a clean pathway. It can also be beneficial to flood your room with lots of natural light (which can also cut down on electricity usage). Plants, particularly those which are placed in your wealth zone can also help – this is in the left hand corner of your desk. You can have a read of tips to Feng Shui your desk for more ideas.
While maximising productivity in the workplace and creating an eco-friendly office environment generally lies in the hands of the employer, there are lots of things employees can do themselves. Turning off your computer when not in use can not only save energy but reduces eye strain and the unnatural light which a computer emits. You’ll soon realise that small changes can make a huge difference to the way you work.