Green Initiatives Can Create a Healthier, More Productive Work Force

Aug. 30, 2011
Companies that incorporate eco-friendly initiatives aren’t just helping save the Earth – they also can create a healthier, more productive work environment for their employees.

Johnson Controls offers the following tips to green the workplace to keep employees working at their best:

  • Preserve and make use of green spaces, including courtyards, ponds, walking paths and decks that allow occupants to enjoy and interact with the outdoors. Design workspaces that provide unobstructed views of windows to help bring the outdoor environment inside.
  • Avoid “sick building syndrome” by improving air quality in the workplace. Ensure an adequate supply of fresh air and monitor CO2 levels to keep them within a healthy range and to avoid fatigue, headaches or difficulty concentrating.
  • Evaluate and control employee exposure to airborne contaminants. Consider banning smoking on your campus – including outdoor areas – and install permanent “knock-off” grates at all entrances to control unwanted particles from entering the workplace on employees’ shoes.
  • “Green” your cleaning, maintenance and pest management operations by using more environmentally friendly cleaning products and organic, synthetic filters for equipment. For pest control, use non-toxic or minimally toxic methods only in targeted locations and for targeted species.
  • Promote recycling. Distribute recycling containers around your buildings or campus to encourage separation of waste and recyclable items. Think beyond cans, glass, and paper. Consider composting food waste, including coffee grounds, from your cafeteria to improve the environment and reduce the cost of the waste stream.
  • Control your own environment to work in greater comfort. Ask for the flexibility to adjust temperature, lighting and airflow to maintain personal comfort levels.
  • Create a team of employees to monitor, patrol and educate other workers on environmentally friendly behaviors. Celebrate events such as Earth Day and World Water Day to raise awareness and promote involvement.
  • Add amenities such as huddle areas and quiet rooms to provide an inviting alternative to meeting rooms. Acoustical spray on ceilings and sound masking through white noise can minimize distractions in open office environments.
  • Consider adding a fitness center to promote exercise and general health and well-being.

Remember – if employees are happy, healthy and comfortable, they are more likely to be productive at work.

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