Starting from 2020 we have witnessed many downsides of the Covid-19 pandemic. Surprisingly, one positive outcome was the decrease in emissions. Since people was not able to leave their homes employers decided to move to a new model called home office which allowed employees to keep working from their homes. Now, many people still choose to work out of their home offices as a way to reduce their commute time and save on gas and other expenses.
Unfortunately, though, working from home can have some drawbacks as well, such as increased distractions and isolation, so you’ll need to make some adjustments if you want your home-office experience to be more successful. We also see that emissions are increasing and reached back to their old levels. So we are offering you four tips to help you create a more sustainable home office environmentally, socially and economically.
1) Go paperless
Going paperless is one of the best ways you can make your home office more sustainable. For example, it’s better for the environment because there’s less waste and it saves money because you don’t have to buy as much paper. Plus, it makes your life easier because everything is accessible on your laptop or tablet. Try not to print out documents unless it is absolutely necessary. If you would like a more sustainable home office design look for energy efficient printers and use recycled papers with them.
Another option is to invest in technology such as tablets to save yourself from more paper waste in the long-term. Use a scanner to digitize old paper files and store them on a computer so that they’re always with you wherever you go. Do not forget to recycle those old papers later.
Buy office materials that are made with sustainable materials like bamboo, soy ink, hemp coverings or kraft paper covers. And if possible, look into using pen over printer whenever possible. There are many types of pens that will last longer than a cartridge based pen and you’ll also avoid having an empty pen at the end of the day. Pens reduce waste because once you’ve used up all the ink in them, they can be refilled as well i instead of being thrown away.
2) Use natural light
Think about your lighting situation; since most people spend majority of their time indoors-most often under artificial light-make sure your home office has plenty of windows and encourages natural light by opening them whenever possible. Use natural light as much as possible instead of using electric lights. Windows can be opened to bring in natural light and a fan can help create a cross breeze that will reduce the need for electric air conditioning.
If you are using artificial light in your home office, make sure it is fluorescent or LED, which use far less energy than incandescent bulbs. Companies can always hand out such bulbs in order to apply a strong sustainability policy and act on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) as well. Install occupancy sensors so that lights only turn on when there is movement around them.
3) Minimize electronic usage
Turn off the lights when they are not in use and unplug electronic devices when they are not being used. Also, try this quick and easy tip – power down electronics completely before leaving home for an extended period of time (e.g., vacation). Try not to leave appliances plugged in when they aren’t in use, and unplug them from surge protectors at night and on weekends.Unplug especially small and easy to forget appliances like televisions, radios and coffee pots when they are not in use. By reducing your home office’s environmental impact, you’ll be making a great step towards sustainability! Follow these simple steps to get started with a more sustainable home-office and watch your carbon footprint shrink in size.
PeerBie which serves great solutions for people who work through home offices as well as office workers whenever they need help with possible productivity, performance and time management problems. Yet PeerBie, helps to build more sustainable way of working too. It has a do not disturb mode which will allow users to work more efficiently without being distracted by the unnecessary notifications and quickly be done with their work. Therefore, using less energy for shorter periods of time.
4) Avoid using cars
Starting from the pandemic the home office or remote working options have become much more desirable. Not only for employees or employers but for the environment as well. We have seen an obvious decrease in CO2 emissions and carbon footprint. That was due to the lockdown and decrease in people’s use of transportation both private and public and also eliminated the need for commuting thanks to the home offices. But lately, we see a rise in both emissions and carbon footprint. To prevent that avoiding the use of cars for work or errands is a great solution. It will not only help the environment but will also allow you to save money on gas and car maintenance.
If companies would like to be more sustainable and adopt a manner of more educative approach the tip is to work for sustainable home office design. It’s time to actively promote sustainability and let your employees adopt a sustainability culture that companies must be designing as solid/core policies. Employers in this case can offer a bike and promote using them for short distances.
There could be office competitions on daily steps taken as well. So many options exist! For example, one can personally walk instead of driving to a destination within 2 kilometers of your home. If it is not possible to walk or bike using public transportation, like buses and trains, at least once per week instead of cars is more desirable. Walking or biking when possible are healthier options as well as better solutions when it comes to reducing the carbon footprint.
5) Be conscious about your food
If you are working from home and want to build a sustainable home office you may like to review your food intake. Start by cooking your own lunch instead of eating out every day, which will reduce packaging waste. Eat local foods to support sustainability in agriculture by consuming products grown near you or making your own food from scratch! You’ll also be saving time and money! Do not forget to separate and recycle your bio-waste as well.
If you are crammed with work and too busy to cook for yourself it is more environmentally conscious to not ask for cutlery with your order and be careful about the packaging. Search for recycled sustainable options. Some options are recyclable and reusable, so try to use and ask for those materials as much as possible. You may help businesses to gain a more sustainable view as a positive externality if you demand it enough as well.