The following post is by Alaska Structures:
Every workplace has its upsides and drawbacks. Whether it’s the quality of the coffee in the break room or squabbles over cleanliness of shared areas, navigating the politics and interested parties of an office environment can be taxing. One thing everyone can get behind is energy efficiency and using resources more effectively, but as with every project in the workplace, getting started requires a budget, a manager, and a dedicated team to see it through to completion. Especially if you’re a small business or startup struggling to make ends meet each month, it’s possible to simultaneously improve both your workplace and bottom line with a few smart energy efficiency upgrades and strategies.
Educate Your Employees
Every office has a few key figures who are noticeably wasteful or ignorant to their lack of eco-friendly habits, but they may not be leaving the refrigerator door open or the sink running on purpose. Investing in energy-efficient tools and appliances will only fully pay off if everyone on your team gets behind the initiative. And as anyone who has dealt with HR or employee criticism will tell you, it’s important to consider your approach when implementing energy-efficiency standards and initiatives.
The good news is that going eco-friendly in your office can be fun! Aside from the ideal scenario in which no lights are left on in empty rooms and all computer equipment being shutdown at night, the potential savings is huge. By informing employees of the cost-saving potentials and offering financial rewards in exchange for reaching benchmarks could help engage your employees into action.
Use Power Strips and Smart Lighting
Connected electronics often use “phantom energy,” or energy drawn and used even when the device is switched off. Investing in higher-quality power strips with scheduled on/off times and smart power utilization methods is a great first step, but sometimes the simpler route is just as effective. Have each employee unplug their machines at the end of the day will have a tremendous short and long-term impact on your bottom line. Otherwise, you can retrofit many electronics with smart Wi-Fi plugs to ensure they turn off automatically after regular business hours.
Installing a smart lighting system can also help reduce your energy costs while improving indoor comfort levels in the workplace. Replacing older bulbs with smart Wi-Fi connected models is expensive, but many may even last longer than traditional LEDs – some models claim to last 15 years during regular use.
Invest in New Space
While it’s generally easier to find and relocate to a more energy efficient office environment, some industries call for more specialized real estate to grow and expand their operations. As energy experts tell us, it’s crucial that energy efficiency standards are considered in the very early stages of the project to ensure complete adherence during construction and finalization in new spaces.
Many in the industrial sector have turned to high-performance polyvinyl fabric buildings to help bring down their energy costs and maintain profit margins as their business expands to a new facility. Because modern fabric buildings are low maintenance and quick to assemble, organizations with remote locations, camps, or secondary facilities outside of their headquarters have invested in portable fabric buildings. They’re also a great cost-saving alternative to brick-and-mortar buildings thanks to the natural light and comfort that comes with the energy efficient design and engineering that comes with higher-end fabric structures.
Make a Few Key Upgrades
Studies have shown that laptop computers are nearly 80% more energy-efficient than their desktop counterparts. Not only will switching to laptops help reduce the amount of energy expended in your office, they’ll save room in the workplace and allow your employees the flexibility to jump up and bring their work home or at a nearby coffee shop if so desired.
Finally, swapping out your office’s old refrigerator for a new Energy Star-rated unit will have a near immediate impact on your energy consumption and most importantly, your monthly bill.
There are plenty of strategies employed by business owners to maximize their company’s cost-saving potential and we hope more of an effort to improve energy efficiency across the board begins to catch on in throughout the business world as solutions become more and more affordable for companies of any size.
Alaska Structures has manufactured fabric buildings for industrial and commercial applications around the world since 1975.