Reducing business expenditure is a hot topic that’s being discussed in many offices around the world. Not only are businesses looking at ways to save money but they are also looking to reduce their carbon footprint to help with climate change too.
Every day, the workplace uses a vast amount of energy on things like lighting, computers and other general office equipment. With this in mind we decided to offer a few simple tips to help us all reduce office running costs and do our bit for the environment at the same time!
1. Turn Your Computer Off
Computers and monitors use a huge amount of energy so ensure your staff switch them off or put them on standby at the end of the day.
Try and set your computer to automatic sleep mode during the day as it can cut the energy usage as much as 70%. If your computers and monitors are old, investing in new ones with energy saving features built in will also make a difference.
Little unknown fact: Many of us believe that screen savers are a great energy saving feature but in actual fact they can use an unnecessary amount of power.
2. Unplug Office Equipment
It’s not just computers that use energy, there are many other pieces of office equipment that do too. For example, if the printer isn’t used that often keep it switched off until it actually needs to be used. You may have to wait a while for it to warm up but just think of the electricity you are saving by not having it switched on!
Kettles and coffee machines also use energy so when you’ve made the morning round of tea, switch it off at the wall.
Remember, anything that is plugged in and switched on uses energy just by siting there without anybody using it so take a walk around your office and find out which pieces of equipment aren’t used on a daily basis and switch them off.
3. Go Paperless
Tough one this, because all businesses like a paper trail and many of us are stuck in our analogue paper ways. Rather than printing all your documents, ask yourself if it’s really necessary before doing so? Can it remain digital and saved on your PC?
Not only does this save on your paper costs but it also reduces the amount of toner and electricity required to complete the task? More importantly you’re helping reduce your carbon footprint….perfect!
4. Change The Lighting
Office lighting can account for as much as 30% of your energy usage so making these few simple changes could make a huge difference to the figures you see on your electricity bill!
Energy saving light bulbs have become increasingly popular in our homes now, why not use them around the office too? Also known as compact fluorescent lamps, these low energy bulbs have been designed to fit into any light fixtures. They are more expensive but will last up to fifteen times longer and use around one-fifth of the electricity used by a standard bulb.
Another great way of to help reduce the cost of your lighting is to install ‘occupancy sensors’ that will automatically turn off lights when no movement has been detected in a set period of time.
5. Add Plants To Your Office!
Although you may not be a fan of indoor plants, did you know that they can actually have a huge impact on your office environment?
A study carried out by Dr Kamal Meattle found that having plants in your office can increase the amount of oxygen in the air whilst reducing the amount of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). This in turn boosts productivity in the workplace whilst increasing concentration levels at the same time…….perfect!
Three plants in particular were used in the study; the areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens), the money plant (Epipremnum Aureum) and mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria Trifasciata).
Results from the study show just how much they can hep improve your working environment with:
- Productivity increased by 20%
- Asthma reduced by 9%
- Respiratory symptoms reduced by 34%
- Headaches reduced by 12%
- Lung impairment reduced by 24%
- Eye irritation reduced by 52%
Although we don’t suggest a complete wall of plants, it is definitely worth re-thinking the layout of your office furniture and how you can include a touch of greenery around the office as the more plants on display, the less time people should have off sick……..in theory!
According to the Carbon Trust, businesses account for around half of all the UK’s carbon emissions but by following these tips, you could be helping the environment as well as helping reduce your energy bills at the same time.