Creating a workplace that is people-centric and productive often goes hand in hand with implementing eco-friendly solutions into its design. We are, after all, part of nature, so the need to reconnect with the natural world and reduce our impact on the environment comes as no surprise, especially during these times when our planet is suffering and in desperate need of help.
Fortunately, more businesses around the globe are adopting the green mindset and doing their best to create healthier and more people-centric workplaces while at the same time doing a big favor to Mother Earth. With that in mind, here are a couple of holistic eco-friendly solutions companies can adopt into their businesses and help both their employees and the environment.
Offering choices to employees to increase their productivity
Not every employee is the same, and this is why companies need to avoid looking at their workers as a whole but rather see them as individuals that they are – humans with their own needs and preferences. Employees should be able to determine how to navigate their work days in a way that’s the most productive and motivating.
This is why more companies are moving away from the traditional settings and adopting more informal ones. The emphasis is put on comfort, so more companies are investing in ergonomic and sustainable furniture, creating separate areas for employees to relax during their break, as well as providing both collaboration spaces and private spaces for team and individual work. Furthermore, companies are encouraging better employee health by offering nutritious, sustainable options such as organic fruits and vegetables and getting their coffee from a local, organic, fair-trade provider. All this results in a human-centric environment that promotes health, comfort, and productivity.
Eco-friendly lighting promotes wellness and a positive working environment
Sometimes, making the workplace more human-centric is a matter of making the switch to eco-friendly lighting. Energy-efficient alternatives to CFLs and fluorescent light bulbs, LED lighting systems have been growing in popularity over the past couple of years due to their ability to operate for longer and consume less power to run. Their ability to mimic natural light in terms of hue and intensity has been shown to promote employee wellness. Furthermore, LED lights are eye-friendly and provide an optimal level of illumination which helps create a productive and human-centric working environment.
To ensure you get the most of this environmentally-conscious upgrade, your safest bet would be to find a reliable brand for professional LED lighting to boost the efficiency of your working environment, whether we’re talking about offices, warehouses, hangars, or manufacturing halls. Depending on the size of the operation, retrofitting of lights can either be an inexpensive or a costly upgrade. Nevertheless, looking past the somewhat high initial costs is easy once you consider the numerous health benefits as well as the significant energy savings.
Biophilic design as a human-centric interior design solution
A great workplace that focuses on the needs of its employees often makes use of biophilic design. It involves designing spaces in a way that supports human health and wellness while also promoting environmental well-being. This helps foster human connection with nature, and it’s usually done by incorporating natural elements into design.
These involve everything from air-purifying, stress-reducing plants and organic, eco-friendly materials to nature-inspired art and energy-efficient lighting that mimics daylight, all of which have a positive effect on the emotional state of the employees. Some companies are taking things a step further and designing outdoor office spaces to boost employee productivity and keep them happy and relaxed, applying the same biophilic design principles that work for interior spaces.
Encouraging environmental awareness through eco-friendly practices
While environmentally conscious upgrades are essential to creating a healthy and productive workplace, adopting a green mindset and being more conscious of your everyday practices is just as important. There are a number of ways companies can promote eco-friendliness in their business practices and encourage environmental awareness among employees, and it all starts with making environmentally-friendly practices a part of their company policies. Some of the best eco-friendly practices businesses can (and should) adopt include:
- Switching to green, sustainable, and reusable alternatives (utensils, water bottles, mugs, plates, office supplies, etc.)
- Investing in energy-efficient electronics, lighting, and appliances
- Supporting green and eco-friendly companies and brands
- Starting recycling programs and sustainability teams
- Incentivizing employees for fulfilling green monthly challenges
- Going paperless and using digital alternatives whenever possible
- Implementing the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle)
Eco-friendly workplaces are human-centric workplaces, and fostering the unbreakable human-nature bond is essential for boosting employee productivity and keeping them healthy and happy. After all, employees are the heart of the company, and investing in their health and wellness means investing in the future of your business.
About the author: Lilly Miller is a freelance writer, who focuses on the latest business trends, commercial design, and environmental issues. She also loves to experiment on daring new home decor trends and write about it as a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator. Settled in Sydney for the time being, Lilly shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her hanging out on Twitter.