How to Make Your Office a Much Greener Place

How to Make Your Office a Much Greener Place

When you are working on creating a more eco-friendly life, it is ideal to extend your efforts to the office. You have spent a lot of time making your home greener, but you can do a variety of things at work to help reduce the entire company’s carbon footprint. Look for inspiration from projects, such as the Cadiz Water Project, and others that are helping to make life more sustainable on a larger scale. Starting with a few basic ideas, however, is sure to make the process relatively simple and smooth.

Check Your Electricity Usage

In an office, you often have bright lights on all day and this can result in dramatic electricity usage. Consider putting smaller lamps at everyone’s desks and whenever it is daytime, take advantage of the natural light. Open all blinds or curtains so the sunlight filters in and shut off the overhead lights. This can result in a significant decrease in electricity usage. It also allows for a more ambient and pleasant environment that might help folks to feel less stress while they work.

Be Mindful of Office Water Usage

Using too much water is one of the biggest factors in an office that is not eco-friendly, but there are methods you can employ to change this. For example, look to do something similar to the Cadiz Water Project, but on a smaller scale. This means you can look for ways to reuse water so that it is renewable in your office environment. For example, get a bucket for the community refrigerator and instead of tossing the leftover water in people’s bottles, put it into the bucket. Once it is full, you can use it for cleaning the office.

Create an Office Recycling Program

Between office supplies and lunch items, you probably accumulate a lot of waste every week. You would be amazed how much less waste you would have if you recycled. This is relatively easy to implement in an office environment. Start with the lunch area and the room where you keep your supplies. Take three small bins and put a set in each of these rooms, with one bin for glass, one for plastic and one for paper. At the end of the week, you just need to quickly bag it up and drop the recycling off at the local center.

Switch to Recycled Products

There are multiple office supplies that you can find that are made from recycled products. These also tend to be relatively inexpensive, so it will not add much to the budget of the company. You can find products, such as refillable ink cartridges, recycled paper and non-toxic highlighters for this purpose. In fact, between non-toxic and recycled items, you should be able to replace most of the items in your office with more eco-friendly ones.

Consider the Office Food Choices

If you do a lot of potlucks and similar events in the office, be careful about the foods you choose. Look for produce that was grown sustainably and reduce how much meat is served. You should also avoid serving it on products, such as paper plates, and opt for those that can be washed and reused instead for a greener environment.

Switch to Cleaning Products That Are Non-Toxic

Most of the cleaning products used in the office environment are incredibly harsh and this can have a major impact on how eco-friendly everything is. There are products that you can switch to that do not contain any harsh chemicals. They allow you to fully clean your office without the risk of harsh fumes or degrading any of the surfaces. You might also consider basic items, such as white vinegar and baking soda, since these are non-toxic and can be used to clean an array of surfaces.

Work on an Office Carpool

One of the biggest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to reduce your reliance on your vehicle. Since driving to work is likely something you cannot skip, if you share a ride with your coworkers, you are decreasing how many cars are on the road during your commute. You can switch off who drives each week, so that factors, such as vehicle wear and tear and fuel, are evenly split between everyone who joins the carpool.

You might also talk to the boss about creating telecommuting opportunities if this is possible. This means that people can spend one or more days a week working from home to avoid having to drive their vehicle at all.

You can see that it is not too harder to make your office much greener for yourself and everyone else. Once you start implementing changes, it will not be too hard to get your coworkers to join in. Just start small so that the process is not too overwhelming for yourself and everyone else that wants to lend their help and support.

How to Change a Toxic Work Culture

How to Change a Toxic Work Culture

With the announcement that Travis Kalanick would be stepping down as the CEO of Uber, it has a lot of people once again considering toxic work cultures and the negative impact this can have on the entire organization.

Silicon Valley has been a good example of how a toxic culture can negatively impact even the most successful and promising of companies, with rumors and reports of everything from sexual harassment to discrimination floating around about Uber and other tech companies.

While there are third-party companies like SIT that develop ways to shift company culture, for example, towards more innovation, what do you do when you’re dealing with a toxic work culture? This is a situation that might also require outside help, but in general, the following are some useful tips to make a shift when necessary.

Conduct Exit Interviews

One of the big mistakes too many companies make is that they don’t conduct exit interviews. Conducting exit interviews aren’t in and of themselves going to solve problems with corporate culture, but they’re going to be one of the best ways to get a handle on the truth of what’s happening, and where potential problems exist.

It’s important to do exit interviews with both people who leave willingly for whatever reason and fired individuals.

These can also serve as a baseline measurements when you put other mechanisms of change in place, to see how you’re doing.

Cultivate Transparency

When people feel like they’re working in a negative environment, they also tend to be less productive, and that impacts the bottom line of the company.

One of the biggest reasons negativity develops and takes hold in a culture is a lack of transparency. When employees feel like everything is happening behind closed doors, that then leads to a sense that there is secrecy, which breeds gossip and animosity.

Just by being honest, upfront and transparent with employees, it can go a long way in remedying some of the toxic elements negatively impacting the organization.

Be Careful with Competition

There’s an idea that successful companies have competitive and often cutthroat employees, but this is what can foster bullying and problems in the workplace. Some competition isn’t a problem, but when it goes too far, that’s when cultures become toxic.

You need employees who strive to succeed but also who can get along with one another.

It’s important to encourage strong company values that emphasize teamwork, and when hiring, try to think about fit as much as qualifications.

Start At the Top

Finally, as is being seen with the Uber situation, sometimes changing a toxic culture requires looking at the top to see where problems exist.

Company leaders ultimately own the culture of their organization, so if you can see that your leaders or even you are fostering competition to the point that it’s negative, encouraging a sense of bullying, or do everything behind a curtain of secrecy, it’s time to make changes.

You can’t expect employees to embrace the changes necessary to eliminate a toxic culture if company leaders aren’t willing to take their own steps.