Going Green in the Office
However, when it comes to the workplace, officebroker.com believes that more should be done to encourage sustainable working practices. With a quarter of UK workers clocking up more than 48 hours per week, more than any other wealthy nation*, many of us spend more time in the office than we do at home.
officebroker.com is in a unique position as it has access to thousands of office workers and businesses across the country and on the back of its findings has pledged to take a stand and encourage Britain’s office workers to adopt a range of environmentally friendly working practices.
The company believes that although the majority of Britain’s office workers would willingly
adopt environmentally friendly working practices, they are looking at management to take
the lead and adopt a strategic approach to creating a more sustainable working environment.
Jim Venables is managing director of officebroker.com, the UK’s largest online broker of commercial office space which works with more than 97% of the UK’s serviced office space providers and landlords.
He says: “When it comes to going green in the office, business managers need to take
the lead and adopt a strategic approach. There is extensive advice and support available to
businesses and, we have found that businesses whose employees have embraced
environmentally friendly working practices have enjoyed considerable benefits including reduced costs and a closer, communicative workforce.”
He adds “Certainly, from speaking to our customers, it seems that those companies which have put strategic ‘green’ plans in place have been pleasantly surprised by employees’ willingness to support such initiatives.”
officebroker.com was founded by entrepreneurs Jim Venables and Andy
Haywood five years ago has grown into a multi-million pound enterprise with offices in the UK and US, and plans to launch a division in Hong Kong later this year.
The company offers the following advice to businesses looking to create a sustainable
office and working environment.
- When looking for new office space, consider offices which have been designed with sustainability in mind
- Ask any potential new office space provider what environmental policies they have in place
- Discuss sustainability with your existing landlord and, if you are looking to develop your own green strategy, suggest working together with them and other tenants to share any costs and create greater awareness
- Having made the decision to ‘go green’ adopt a strategic approach, choosing an office champion to lead the initiative or setting up a ‘green’ taskforce to implement policies throughout your organisation
- Good communication is key to getting everyone on board – explain why, how and what you intend to do and when you plan to implement it – and keep communicating at different stages of the process
- Research sustainable practices across all areas of your business from purchasing to transport, technology to telecommunications.
- Work closely with suppliers, customers and other stakeholders to ensure they are all fully aware of your strategy and can support your efforts
- Make the most of your green credentials and communicate your policies to your customers and a wider audience to gain credibility and give you a competitive edge.
Among the many office space providers that officebroker.com works with is Innovate office which has recently launched the UK’s ‘greenest’ office at Thorpe Park in Leeds. The office boasts the highest BREEAM rating of any office in the country, and was developed to showcase the commercial viability of sustainable developments and boost awareness of the growing importance of ‘green’ office space to the commercial sector.
Mark Proctor, sales and marketing director of Innovate office says: “We have worked with officebroker.com since the company was established, initially to market space at our Sherwood Park office in Nottingham. Our new Leeds office is now attracting a great deal of interest from potential tenants, some of whom are actively seeking a sustainable environment in which to conduct their business and others who simply see operating in such an environment as an added benefit.”
Mark continues: “We applaud officebroker.com’s efforts to raise awareness of the importance of adopting good environmental practices within the commercial workspace. Like them, we actively encourage tenants to adopt a range of simple practices such as turning off lights and PCs when not in use and setting good standards.
“We see our new Leeds office as a benchmark for the sector and would actively encourage other office space providers to work within their own resources to ensure that their buildings are as sustainable as possible. A large number of businesses are now being asked to provide evidence of their own ‘green’ credentials when tendering for new business and while being able to state that you work out of the country’s ‘greenest’ building is a fantastic way to demonstrate this, there are plenty of other ways in which businesses can easily employ more sustainable practices.”