With the idea of sustainability gaining momentum over the past years, it’s no wonder that it has made it to the office landscape too. But what exactly is a sustainable office? In most general terms, it’s a work space that promotes environmental and ecological balance by limiting – or avoiding – the use of natural resources. In practice, it means furnishing an office space with solutions that have been designed with the natural environment – and human well-being – in mind.
Why bother with sustainable workplace in the first place?
The big question here is: why go for sustainable anyway? Sustainability means making as little impact on our environment as possible. Negative impact, that is. Sustainable workplaces – and solutions – make a difference to both the planet and business. After all, the healthier the planet, the longer every organization will be able to exist. It’s all about thinking in the long term. A more sustainable office can even bring financial benefits, especially when energy and consumable materials are used in a smarter way. A sustainable corporate vision shows also that the company cares about the world and its future, which has a positive impact on its image. All pros, no cons.
The main principles of a sustainable office
A sustainable office is one that has been created with concern for nature and human well-being. One whose role is not only to drive business and success, but also to serve its users as well as possible – to help them perform at their best and feel good while doing it. It’s function over form. Practicality over looks. Keeping things simple but functional enough to make people and business thrive – and the planet continue to exist without having its resources wasted or exploited. The key is to see the bigger picture and how we contribute to it by our own actions.
Design ideas for a sustainable workplace
In order to make a workplace more in line with sustainable design principles, it may be a good idea to consider at least some of the following ideas. Choosing furniture and fixtures made from sustainable, eco-friendly materials. Using low-VOC finishes and paint. Opting for energy-efficient lighting. Using recycled materials whenever possible. Making well-thought-out purchases when it comes to office equipment. Using green supplies and cleaning products whenever possible. Maximising natural light and ventilation. Installing energy-efficient cooling and heating systems. Making use of composting and recycling facilities.
Sustainable office furniture
The first step to make towards larger-scale sustainability may be furnishing the office with sustainable furniture. An example of such furniture may be the Stand Up R sustainable desk by Mikomax, featuring a patented manual height adjustment system for dynamic sit&stand work, which doesn’t need any electric energy to be used. Even the smallest things matter, and switching from electric or electronic to manual is definitely the way to go.