It’s 2022 and the results are in: employees are asking for flexible work. As a workplace manager, it’s your job to stay up to date on what employees need to be happy working on-site. You’re also on the hook for managing the workplace budget and running an efficient space.
Making eco-friendly changes will not only create a better workplace experience for employees. It will also ensure you’re minimizing waste and show employees that you’re dedicated to creating an on-site culture that aligns with their values. To welcome employees back to a greener workplace where they will love to work, try these three tips.
Tip 1: Use technology to decrease waste
There are plenty of apps at our fingertips to help organizations and consumers go green. In the world of hybrid, workplace platforms keep you in the know about how many people plan to be in the office on any given day. This will help you plan to have the right amount of resources to accommodate folks on-site, rather than defaulting to ordering extra of something.
For food, consider implementing integrations with catering companies like Cater2Me that allow you to align ordering food with the headcount for the day. That way, you can order the exact number of breakfast burritos for your employees and avoid having to throw away leftovers. (After all, breakfast burritos are too good to waste.) This is an easy way to help you run a greener and more cost-efficient workplace.
Tip 2: Ditch the single-use cutlery
Speaking of food, one of the quickest ways to create a greener workplace is by swapping out your disposable cutlery for silverware. While many companies opt for compostable cutlery and dishes for lunches and on-site events, the quantity adds up. Not to mention some cutlery brands that claim to be sustainable actually aren’t (hello, green-washing).
At the Envoy office in San Francisco, we have a thing for funky mugs. Our love for ceramic coffee cups is not only good for the planet, it also reflects our quirky company culture. You can easily set up something similar at your own company. Encourage folks to bring their favorite mugs into the office. It’ll spark conversations between employees and keep single-use dishes out of the trash bin. Plus, it’ll make for a fun story for employees to tell their visitors when they’re giving them a tour of the workplace.
Tip 3: Encourage employees to carpool to work
As employees head back to the workplace, some might be hesitant to take public transportation or rideshare services due to health concerns. Due to these worries, some folks might forego the in-office experience for their home office. But that doesn’t have to be the case!
There are several ways you can ensure employees are healthy before they arrive on-site. For example, they can show proof of vaccination or complete a daily health check. With these safety assurances in place, you can encourage employees to carpool to work. Not only will they be confident everyone in the car is either fully vaccinated or COVID negative, carpooling also gives employees the opportunity to connect with colleagues they might not otherwise know.
Start an email thread or Slack channels specific to local areas where folks might be commuting from. Here at Envoy, we have a merry crew that commutes from Oakland into our San Francisco office to save on gas consumption from driving individually. Employees can take a peek at their coworkers’ schedules to find out who’s working on-site on any given day.
Tip 4: Right-size your real estate footprint
Finally, remember that when it comes to running a space-efficient workplace, executives look to you. You want to avoid having empty-feeling offices, while also making sure folks have enough space to be productive. This goes back to having the right amount of resources, which is especially important in a hybrid model where the number of employees on-site can change throughout the week.
Space management technologies like occupancy tracking and room booking tools can help you manage your space better—giving you data you can use to right-size your real estate footprint. This can save your organization money while also cutting down on energy consumption (think: lighting, air conditioning, etc.).
As with any big initiative, start with baby steps. By implementing small, sustainable changes—like the ones above—you can create a greener workplace where employees love to work.