How Encouraging Sustainability At Work and at Home Can Increase Company Morale

Simple actions you can take that will drastically reduce office & home waste over time while boosting employee morale.
How Encouraging Sustainability At Work and at Home Can Increase Company Morale
Adrian Johansen

As time goes on, more people are turning their attention to the environment and choosing to make more sustainable changes in their lives to help our planet heal and thrive.

Studies have shown that air pollutants can be the reason why many people suffer from ailments like depression and dementia.

Everyone can do their part, including the many companies across our American landscape. When a business actively tries to turn to sustainable practices, they are not only helping the planet but also the morale and success of their own company.

Employee morale is as important as ever during these difficult times, especially with the presence of COVID-19 and other unsettling stories hitting the news every night, so introducing team-building activities and behaviors that showcase sustainability may be just what your business needs to get back on the right track. Let’s talk about how to get there.

Sustainability in the Office

When the managers of a company start thinking about taking a more sustainable approach in their business dealings, they may believe that they need to perform a complete overhaul of their organization, but really, you can help the planet and produce less waste by making little changes that can make a big difference.

Start by limiting the amount of paper that you print every day and instead turn to a digital workplace where you send emails instead of passing out flyers and make meeting presentations using tools like Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides instead of printing handouts.

You can create a recycling program to better manage office waste. Place separate bins in the cafeteria where employees can dispose of their cans, plastic, and paper products instead of throwing them in the garbage. Be sure to create detailed signage and place it around the office so all employees know what is expected and how they can be part of the solution.

To use fewer paper products in the first place, the company can provide reusable bottles and cups for water and coffee. It’s a simple act that can drastically reduce waste over time.

The excessive use of electricity is a major factor because the act of burning coal to produce electric power releases dangerous emissions into the atmosphere, which is a major contributor to climate change. Your business can do its part to limit electricity by having all employees leave at the same time every night so you can turn off lights and reduce the use of utilities. You can also reduce the use of artificial lighting by moving desks closer to the windows so employees can use natural light to complete their work.

In addition to being able to better view their work, it has also been proven that sunlight is a natural stress reducer.

A Morale Boost

Now that you have transitioned to a more sustainable office, you’re going to save money on utility costs and help the environment, but you may not realize that by doing so, you are also boosting employee morale. By doing their part to help our planet, most people begin to feel that they now have a greater purpose since their individual contributions are helping the planet and their friends and family live healthier lives.

Studies have shown that air pollutants can be the reason why many people suffer from ailments like depression and dementia, so by being sustainable, you could be helping others avoid poor mental health.

In addition to having happy employees, when morale at the workplace is high, productivity often improves because your staff appreciates that their company cares for their well-being.

By becoming a sustainable organization, you could also attract new high-caliber employees to fill your most in-demand positions. This is because many people are choosing jobs that align more with their values and beliefs — this includes believing that we need to do our part to help the environment.

If a potential employee cares about climate change, imagine how much they will care about their role at your organization when they know that their workplace is doing its part to look after our planet.

Remote Employees Can Participate

The transition to a remote workforce in itself is a very sustainable practice because by having everyone work from home, your company is eliminating the need for your employees to commute to work with cars that produce dangerous pollution.

Keep in mind that even though your staff are dispersed, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still encourage sustainability and through it achieve improved morale and working better as a team.

Although management cannot fully control what occurs inside an employee’s home, they can provide employees with best practice guidelines for saving energy and eliminating waste. Make it clear how this will benefit not only the environment, but also the employees themselves through cost saving and more streamlined, digitised workflows.

For instance, the HR team can encourage recycling and reducing waste at home offices by providing tips like using both sides of the paper when printing or completely do away with the need for printing documents. Employ online sharing and document signing tools like Google Docs or Sharepoint, which will streamline document sharing and make printing for work unnecessary.

Management can help to encourage sustainability by turning it into a team-building experience.

In addition to the knowledge that they are helping the planet, your company can encourage participation with a healthy competition where management set eco-sustainability goals, and if they are met, your employees get a prize.

A goal in this regard could be something like reducing energy usage across the board by 25% or something similar. This is a great way of creating a sense of community for the common good.

In the end, caring for our planet should be everyone’s number one priority. Businesses that prioritize sustainability can play a big role in the solution. Getting your employees involved will not only help you make a positive change for our climate, but you’ll also see a boost in employee morale — and that is always good for business!

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