Having a ‘green’ office is a hot topic these days as we become more aware of the importance of sustainability.
We’re always hearing about reducing our carbon footprint and doing our best to preserve the planet and reduce our impact on the earth both as individuals and corporations. We’re all concerned reducing greenhouse gases and combating global warming.
Striving for a ‘green’ office isn’t always done with purely altrusitic motives. It’s really good for business. It saves money, increases productivity and it’s always a great addition to our corporate P.R.
But, be honest, have you ever secretly wondered how having a green office benefits you? The old W.I.I.F.M. question. After all, if we don’t experience a personal benefit, how do we stay motivated in the pursuit of this goal?
Remember we mentioned productivity a little earlier? Well, productivity is a byproduct of the personal benefit we derive from a green work environment.
1. Fresh air
2. Clean water
3. Natural light
4. Healthy food
Without these fundamentals we suffer physically, mentally and emotionally. This is obviously not a situation anyone enjoys experiencing. We become fatigued, stressed and eventually ill. This becomes a big concern to employers as the net result in the workplace is a loss of productivity.
Although employers might cite productivity as a benefit, or even the goal of a ‘green’ office, don’t let that distract you from the very personal benefit you derive from this initiative.
If you work in an office in an older building, particularly in an office that hasn’t had a makeover in quite some time you might not be enjoying the 4 fundamentals listed above.
Although you’re obviously breathing air, is it clean air, or is it air that’s being recycled throughout the building? Do you spend you day under artificial lights, or do you enjoy natural light from a nearby window? Does your office provide good quality fresh, clean drinking water, or are you using water directly from the faucet? Does your employer provide opportunity to enjoy healthy food during your lunch break? If not, do you bring a healthy lunch to work each day or are you so busy that you tend to make easy, but less healthy choices while at work?
The greener your work environment, the more likely you are to enjoy a healthier work day. The green office goes well beyond conserving paper, recycling and buying sustainable furniture. It goes well beyond choosing ergonomic furniture.
A truly green office takes a wholistic approach that centers around wellness concerns before thinking about productivity and profitability. Those are simply welcome side effects.
The introduction of the WELL Building Standards has formalized standards for green building design and technology. Unlike L.E.E.D.® building standards which focus on excellence and sustainability in the built environment, WELL Building Standards focus on creating a built environment that supports the wellness of humans.
Creating a green work environment is important for us as individuals when you consider that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey, we spend nearly nine hours and sometimes more on work-related activities each day.
An environment that gives us access to the 4 most basic fundamentals of life allows us to enjoy a better quality of life and wellness. Living strong, healthy, and yes… productive… is a compelling benefit and a convincing answer to the question, W.I.I.F.M.?