All business owners have two main objectives to try and stick to in order to keep the business going and their investors and shareholders happy – to make money, and to save money. There is a very fine line between making an educated decision over how to take the company forwards through spending, and investing that money in systems or personnel that could leave the company losing money each month, or, worse, on the brink of bankruptcy.
In recent times, however, business owners have been encouraged to turn their attentions towards not only saving money, but also saving the planet by doing their bit to ‘go green’ wherever possible by reducing the amount of waste produced and saving energy in various ways.
One way in which they can do both is to ensure that all machines are switched off at night when there are no people around to use them. Sure, some businesses stay open late – even all night in some cases – but many are open between the hours of 9am and 5pm, with the last person usually out of the office by 6 or 7pm. In this instance it makes sense financially and environmentally to enforce a rule whereby all members of staff shut down their computers and switch off any peripherals like monitors and printers which would still be using energy – and costing money – even when they go to standby mode.
Another idea is to recycle any electrical devices that you have no use for. Staff members and offices will have a variety of gadgets lying around such as mobile phones and laptops which are just sitting in the l cupboard doing nothing. Rather than just sitting there ‘just in case’, you could recycle your phone or laptop using comparison websites who will give you a quote for the device according to various pieces of information such as the overall condition, make, model and age. This money can then be put in the company account or Christmas party fund and used for something beneficial to the business in the future.
It sounds obvious, but switching the lights off in the office when they’re not needed or in use, and adjusting the heating can make a great difference to the amount of energy you use and the amount you pay each month when you get your bill. Obviously, the less you use the less you pay and – therefore – the less damage you do to the environment; but a lot of companies will still have lights on from the moment they open in the morning until the moment the last person leaves. Many even have them on overnight if they’re not on a sensor which can be highly detrimental to both the energy bill and the environment. It is true that some do this as a security measure, but in other instances it is solely down to people not switching the lights off as they leave.
With the heating, the warmer you have the office the more you pay and the more damage you do to the environment. You definitely don’t want your employees sitting at their desks in their coats and scarves, but there comes a point where you should consider either a gradual temperature increase or reducing the length of time that the heating is on for – maybe a few hours in the morning until the room is filled with bodies and working machines which will emit heat, and topping up as and when is necessary as opposed to leaving it on all day.
A final tip is to attempt to reduce your office waste more than you already are. Many have made the adjustments to stop throwing everything in the waste bin and recycling their bottles, cans and paper in the appropriate bins; but others could still do more. These changes might include double-sided printing to save paper, refilling your printer cartridges and using rechargeable batteries.