The traditional desk job has changed in recent years; employees spend uninterrupted hours staring at screens during work hours and can, in many cases, do the same in their spare time. But as the landscape is changing, employers are realising that cramped desks and tiny cubicles are obsolete elements that don’t do their employees any favours.
Our environmental consultants have looked at tips on making your office more environmentally friendly in the past, but today they’re here to highlight four green trends in the commercial sector that can actually help employees improve concentration in the office for a happier and proficient working experience.
1. Natural light
Natural light is often touted as one of the most crucial aspects of a workplace. A 2018 study by HR advisory Future Workplace that was published in the Harvard Business Review showed that access to natural light was the number one workplace environment attribute that people looked for.
The study stated that out of 1,641 employees, 47% admitted they felt tired due to the lack of natural light and 43% felt “gloomy” due to the absence of natural light. The inclusion of windows and even a skylight wherever possible does wonders for the human mind and even around 15 minutes can be enough to trigger the release of endorphins. A happy worker is a driven worker.
2. LED lighting over CFL
Sometimes it’s physically impossible to have enough windows in an office to provide appropriate natural light — so sufficient artificial lighting must be implemented. Fluorescent lighting, however, is often associated with stress. Additionally, CFL’s produce a lot of heat and are not very efficient and converting energy into light. If there is no or little room for natural lighting in your office space, then our environmental consultants strongly consider you implement LED lighting solutions.
LED lights use up to 75% less energy than CFL lights and will last 5 – 10 times longer; they also produce a fraction of the heat compared to CFL lights. A series of downlights placed around the office will provide efficient and greener lighting. Warmer hues are often said to be ineffective for office environments so try to look for LED lights with cooler temperatures such as blues or whites.
If you have a smaller, boutique office and are looking for a touch of luxury then you might even consider some smart lights where you can adjust the brightness and hue of the lights to correspond with the time of day.
3. Opened layouts and high ceilings
The more space in a room, the less confined employees will feel. Embracing an open layout with a high ceiling will promote an airy environment and make employees feel less like they’re trapped and more in a space where they can thrive and feel comfortable. If there are compartmentalised spaces and individual offices that are required (such as for managers or executives) then they should have full-length glass windows — allowing them to still, in some capacity, be a part of the open-plan environment.
4. Embracing passive design
Whilst this element less so impacts concentration directly, it does contribute to the matter overall; passive design is incredibly important for modern businesses and offices as it can drastically reduce energy bills. Passive design is all about designing and building a structure specifically to be able to regulate the internal temperature — mitigating the need for active solutions like air conditioning. This can be done by using the right building materials, insulation and even by glazing the window.
Passive design is an incredibly green initiative — cutting down energy usage (and your energy bill) and allowing employees to enjoy a more natural working environment as opposed to one that’s constantly bombarded by active air conditioning and rapid temperature changes. Most days may not even require active air conditioning, leaving it for the very hot or cold days throughout the year.
Are you looking for environmental consultants in Melbourne?
Constructing a modern office can be a challenge, especially when there are so many options that can be considered to improve concentration, sustainability and overall employee satisfaction. If you are looking to build an office, then you should reach out to the environmental consultants here at Alpha Environmental.
Our environmental firm specialises in environmental site assessments and the analysis/remediation of dangerous substances such as asbestos and mould. We can ensure your newly acquired land is fit for construction before you move forward with your project.
Contact us today by calling 1300 039 181 or filling out our online enquiry form so one of our specialists can get back to you as soon as possible.