By Connie Benton

It’s easy to see the benefits of going green if you love nature. But what if you couldn’t care less about the whales, the sea turtles, and whatever species the activists want to save next?

There are still plenty of reasons for you to make your office eco-friendly. Here are five of them.

Green office pays

It’s a dog eat dog world. There’s no time to fight global warming when you have to fight the bottom line. But what if you don’t have to choose?

One of the best ways of being eco-friendly is leaving less carbon footprint. You leave a carbon footprint each time your activity causes the release of carbon dioxide. Producing something, driving a car, or even buying a product of carbon dioxide-intensive industry leaves one.

Using electricity leaves a huge carbon footprint. Even though you don’t produce any C02 when you plug in a laptop in your office, you use power generated by burning fossil fuel.

If you decide to monitor your power consumption more closely, you will kill two birds with one stone. Turn off everything at night, and use what you have sparsely and you will both save some money, and save the planet.

Going paperless will also cut the costs for you. An average worker spends $725 on printing a year. If you have 10 employees, that’s $7,250 you could have saved, but wasted on printing.

Printers are nasty things as well, it seems they’re always broken. If you’ve been using it for over three years, the odds are you’ll have to buy a new one instead of getting this one fixed.

All internal paperwork can be transferred to digital as well. “Integrating e-signatures into your company’s workflow makes everything smoother and faster,” – comments Josh Bell, Head of Marketing at Cake HR systems.

Being energy efficient can help you shave a few bucks off your taxes as well. You can save up to $1.80 per square foot of your office building if it’s energy efficient.

Here’s another way of cutting costs while being green. How much do you spend a year on paper cups? Just buy jugs.

Healthier workers

A green office helps keep yourself and your employees healthier. If this alone isn’t enough of a motivation for you, health means productivity.

Creating an ecologically better office is as simple as getting a plant. Plants are basically terraforming machines. They take in CO2 and produce oxygen. This doesn’t only help the environment, this helps the office dwellers.

A 2010 study proved that having plants in the office helps decrease depression, anxiety, and absenteeism. It only takes one leafy plant on your desk to reduce stress, and increase productivity. Seems like a worthy investment.

What’s worse than working in a cubicle surrounded by the light of white lamps? Only paying for it. Think about it, you are paying for your employee’s misery.

A University of Illinois study proved that there is a link between exposure to sunlight correlates with productivity. Move workstations to be within 25 feet of windows, and keep the artificial light to the minimum. You both save the money and your workers.

If you have to light the building, use LED lights of 5000K or higher.

Plant at the office
Creating an ecologically better office is as simple as getting a plant.

Better commutes

Car traffic produces one-fifth of all US emissions. If you can reduce the number of cars even by a small margin, you’ve done good for the environment.

Not only that, you’ve helped your workers to be healthier more productive. Driving over 10 miles each way on your commute makes your blood sugar rise. It also makes you more miserable. Driving a bike makes your blood pump and makes you more alert and ready for work.

Sometimes, that’s not an option because of summer temperatures. Taking public transport and making the last-mile commute on foot or on a skateboard is way better than driving a car. At least you can listen to the podcast without the risk of crushing your vehicle.

Encouraging this can be as easy as not punishing people for being 10 minutes late if you know they’re walking from the subway.

What’s better than making a green commute? Not commuting at all. Your employee leaves no carbon footprint, and you save money on their workplace.

Allow your employees to work remotely, at least part of the time. Consider moving some people to remote work permanently, if they’re willing. Telecommuting increases happiness and motivation because workers have an opportunity to see their family more often and have freedom over their time. It also helps the environment, so why not give it a try.

Improved employee retention

Many people these days prefer working for a purpose, rather than working for the money. This doesn’t mean you can enslave your IT department by giving them desk plants, but they may be more willing to take a pay cut.

If you do have a long-term commitment to creating an ecologically sound office, more employees may stay with you. First off, some people deem helping the environment valuable and will be less likely to leave a company they’re aligned with.

A more mundane reason to stay is happiness. Healthy commutes, office plants, and plenty of sunlight mean employees are happier and won’t leave for a better salary but a worse office.

A positive brand image

It seems as though people these days won’t buy anything from a company that doesn’t give half of their profits to charity and bans plastic at the office. This is a bit of an overreaction, but some good PR never hurts.

You can turn to the local newspaper and get a publication if you’re lucky. But even talking about your green achievements on your social media can be a good thing.

The green bottom line

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to go green with your office except for being morally right. Some are harder to implement, others are dead easy.

You can be environmentally-friendly while helping your bottom line, so go ahead.

Author bio: Connie Benton is a passionate freelance writer and owner

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