Earth Day 2022: 5 Ways for Your Hybrid Work Model to Be More Eco-Friendly

As spring has finally sprung and we can get back to enjoying nature that little bit more, our planet is at the forefront of our minds. The theme of Earth Day 2022 is “Invest in Our Planet” — a fitting frame of mind for approaching our business models this year and beyond.

The threat of global warming to our planet’s wellbeing is becoming more and more apparent. According to the latest IPCC report on climate change, approximately 3.3 to 3.6 billion people live in environments that are highly vulnerable to climate change. We need to avoid the global temperature rising by 1.5 degrees Celsius, as this would cause “unavoidable increases in multiple climate hazards and present multiple risks to ecosystems and humans.” 

According to earthday.org, to avoid this rise in temperature, we need to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We can all play our parts in this effort, and whether you’re an office manager, a team leader, or a CEO, there are plenty of ways to drive down your workplace’s carbon footprint. 

As more and more businesses move to a hybrid work model, we’ve gathered five ways to encourage your hybrid workforce to be more environmentally friendly.

Encourage hybrid work

While some of your teammates may be embracing the hybrid work model, many others may find it hard to break from their traditional schedules. The first step in making your hybrid workplace more eco-friendly is to encourage hybrid working in the first place, as it holds huge benefits for your carbon footprint.

Less air and noise pollution from commuting cars, less single-use plastic from breakfasts and lunches, less energy waste from office buildings — the eco-benefits of working from home stack up quickly. While there can be some debate as to whether working from home really cuts carbon emissions with heating and energy costs, the consensus is that it is far preferable to commuting to work, with one study even finding that net carbon emission reductions of 77% can be achieved from working at home.

Trial an equipment sharing model

One of the benefits of a hybrid working model is that office equipment does not need to be supplied and replaced at such a high rate. Tech turnover can have massive eco-implications, from the mining for materials to the e-waste produced when a piece of equipment needs to be retired.

Set up an equipment sharing model with your hybrid workplace, and see how much technology can be shared or saved by staying at home. For example, if a team member has their own computer suitable for work use, offer an incentive for them to use this, rather than request a new laptop. 

Avoid doling out new technology just for the sake of it. Many of your employees may not need a company phone to do their work, for example, while others may work fine without extras like headsets or external hard drives. 

If one or more of your employees work part-time or flexible hours, investigate whether they could share their equipment on a rotational basis, passing it between them on the days they need it. 

Measure office power usage

When your teammates do work from the office, there is an opportunity to reduce the amount of power your building uses. Research when your office has the highest capacity, and see if you can reduce the power consumption in off-peak hours. 

For example, there should never be a need for your office to have full power on overnight. You can also invest in light sensors and LED bulbs, which are both great ways to reduce the need for constant power usage. 

Depending on the size of your organization, you may be able to switch to a greener energy source for the entire office, such as solar or wind power. Talk to your office manager or the leadership team and state your case for why this investment could be worthwhile. 

Set up a recycling drive

Making an effort to be more environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be a chore. There are plenty of ways to turn your efforts into fun, team-building activities for your team. 

Why not organize a recycling drive or a local area clean-up for your employees to mingle and do some volunteer work? You could also organize a clothes swap or a furniture flipping competition to let your workers see how going green can be fun and fashionable. 

Getting everyone involved is key to ensuring your eco-efforts go the distance, and it’s a great excuse to get together outside of work. 

Offer green incentives

If you currently operate a rewards system in your workplace, why not offer more green perks and incentives to your best-performing employees? There are plenty of eco-friendly swag items to choose from, like reusable coffee cups or water bottles, compostable phone cases, or clothing and tote bags made from recycled materials. Go the extra mile and offer these items at your next event or conference, and make your mark as an eco-conscious company. 

Find the right software for your team to stay connected

While working from home, it’s crucial that your employees have the tools they need to collaborate and be productive so that we can all reap the benefits of less time commuting. 

A collaborative work management system like Wrike allows your team to work together from anywhere. With features like real-time proofing and approvals, over 400 app integrations, customizable workflows and views, and robust security features, it’ll be like you never left the office. Find out more with a free two-week trial

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