Sustainable Workplace Design: 6 Ways to Achieve It

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With the global climate crisis becoming increasingly alarming, businesses are becoming conscious of their environmental impact. As a result, many are adopting eco-friendly practices and considering a sustainable design for their office.

This blog will reveal 6 practical ways to build an environmentally conscious workplace.

What is a Sustainable Workspace Design?

A sustainable workplace aims to reduce or prevent the depletion of natural resources through its business operations. 

Hence, a sustainable workspace design uses energy-efficient lighting, eco-friendly materials, and other eco-friendly design practices to reduce its ecological impact.

6 Tips to Design a Sustainable Workplace

1. Welcome Maximum Sunshine

Maximising natural light is the easiest way to reduce electricity costs and increase Vitamin D intake. Moreover, the World Green Building Council reports that workers near sunlit windows have a 15% higher production rate. 

Therefore, to get the most sunlight, arrange your operational office desk or executive desk near the window and use a light-coloured executive desk or operational desk that reflects light. 

Moreover, consider installing glass partitions to welcome sunlight, especially if you have an open-plan office.

A workspace with light-coloured modern office furniture near the window to receive maximum sunlight.

2. Use Energy-efficient Artificial Lighting

As soon as your incandescent bulbs burn out, replace them with LED or CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) alternatives to create a sustainable, cost-effective workspace. They consume less energy and last longer than their traditional counterparts. For instance, LED lights use up to 80% less energy than standard bulbs. 

Moreover, choose Energy Star-certified appliances to reduce energy consumption by approximately 30%, resulting in lower utility bills. 

A workplace with modern office furniture and LED lighting to consume electricity effectively.

3. Invest in Ethically Sourced Modern Office Furniture

Invest in multipurpose furniture such as Rosia, our ergonomically designed, infinity-shaped chair, so you can repurpose or reuse it instead of buying new modern office furniture to cater to different needs. 

At Auraa Design, we source our modern office furniture from suppliers with certifications like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and ISO 14001, ensuring responsible sourcing of raw materials. Moreover, most of them are TSCA Title VI Compliant (Toxic Substance Control Act) and CATAS Members (Testing Certification). Another sustainability certification you should look for when buying modern office furniture is the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification).

Finally, consider the lifespan of modern office furniture before making a purchase. They should be repairable or recyclable at the end of their lifecycle. Auraa Design’s modern office furniture warranty varies between 2-10 years, depending on the product.

Our ergonomically designed, infinity-shaped chair, Rosia, is an excellent example of modern office furniture that is easily repurposable and designed with sustainability in mind.

4. Go Paperless

Even though going digital is the best way to reduce your environmental impact, there will be times when paperwork will be unavoidable. Hence, we’ll discuss two approaches: going digital and optimising paper usage.

Going digital:

  • Replace notebooks with a reusable writing board.
  • Maintain digital documents and review them on-screen instead of printing them out.
  • Set up automated payments and ask for e-invoices.
  • Share announcements via emails or in-office message workgroups.

Using paper optimally:

  • Use chlorine-free, recycled or eco-friendly paper. 
  • Divide your storage unit into single-use and reusable paper.
  • Print double-sided copies.
  • Reuse misprinted paper as scratch pads for notes or brainstorming.
A group of professionals indulged in a brainstorming session using a reusable whiteboard to jot down ideas and concepts.

5. Incorporate Indoor Plants

According to a study by Washington State University, adding indoor plants to your workspace can reduce dust levels in office spaces by at least 20%. Therefore, consider adding a money plant or other low-maintenance plants for a biophilic design and calming vibe in your workplace.

Moreover, besides providing direct and fresh oxygen, indoor plants absorb harmful toxins and impurities released while installing new modern office furniture or painting the walls.

Adding indoor plants to your workspace can reduce dust and create a calming vibe.

Also read 5 Tips to Welcome Nature in Your Workspace with Biophilic Design.

6. Unplug All Electronics

Implement an ‘Everything-Off-At-Night’ rule. 

Ensure all equipment, including communal tech like printers, is turned off before leaving the office. Place stickers near light switches and office machinery to remind workers to switch them off when not in use. Install motion sensors and automatic timers to turn off lights and electronics when there is no movement for a set period.

Maintain a ‘Green Jar’ for those who do not comply with the ‘Everything-Off-At-Night’ rule. Donate the money collected in the ‘Green Jar’ for an environmental cause.

Inform employees to turn off electronics before leaving the office, and those who don't comply will have to contribute to the "Green Jar".

Wrapping Up

Sustainability is crucial for the survival of our planet and its people. However, you do not have to break the bank to prioritise the environment in your business decisions. Instead, start small and make gradual changes consistently for long-term success. 

As a leading modern office furniture brand in the UK, Auraa Design believes every small step counts towards a greener future. Therefore, most of our modern office furniture is 95% recyclable. Contact us today to discover how we can help you create an elegant and sustainable workspace with our modern office furniture.