Climate change and today’s environmental crisis has made sustainability a priority for many. People are now looking to make their everyday lives more sustainable, whether it’s through bringing reusable cutlery and straws or developing more mindful shopping habits. While these small initiatives are appreciated, change needs to happen on a larger scale, and that’s where companies and businesses come in.
Not only do they have a huge platform ready, but companies also have dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of employees under their belt. Therefore, it’s easier to create a ripple effect and influence efforts — be it by banning plastic in the office or organising company-wide tree-planting events. While the environmental benefits are obvious, sustainability can positively impact another side of businesses: productivity.
Managers are always looking to implement productivity boosts, and some might be hiding under the sustainability umbrella.
Creates a unifying goal
Today’s competitive job market means that employees are being more deliberate when it comes to the jobs they want. There’s a growing desire for employees to look for jobs with meaningful work where they feel like they’re making an impact. In fact, statistics on Fast Company state that most Millennials would take a pay cut to work at an environmentally conscious company. Sustainable business practices tap into this need, thus boosting employee morale. And of course, with a higher morale, employees are more likely to be self-motivated and put more heart into their everyday work.
Filing and processing paperwork are often tedious processes. According to a Verizon article on paper wastage, digital systems speed up such processes. This newfound efficiency has been especially useful for the transportation industry, because they no longer have to sift through so many physical records of trips, driver information, shipment details, and the like. The digital switch also has the added benefit of being more secure, as you can encrypt key information with passcodes and the like. That way, issues like security also won’t get in the way of productivity, whatever industry you may be in.
Makes people more aware of consumer needs
All industries come with challenges, but one such field that has had difficulty with shifting to sustainability is healthcare. In the US, The Huffington Post cites grim realities like low patient trust and an evolving physical environment threatening human health, which can be said for the rest of the world too. In response, healthcare providers have since made it their mission to develop more sustainable products, in line with growing consumer demand. As previously stated, sustainability is becoming a priority for many. Highlighting the relationship between your sustainable business practices and your customers allows employees to think beyond their daily operations and constantly assess if these sustainable practices are what clients want — whether it’s in healthcare, retail, or tech.
Links to health benefits
From the use of solar panels to eco-friendly materials, opting to green-ify your building yields lots of health benefits for your employees. National Geographic reports that cognitive functions increase due to better air ventilation, and those exposed to natural light end up having better sleep. Arguably, not everyone can afford to set up camp in a lush, open area, but proper lighting and ventilation is can make a world of difference to one’s health. After all, healthy employees are focused employees.
Provides a pleasant atmosphere
Office design has become the next big investment for many companies, with interior designers trying to figure out how to maximise an office space for collaboration and solo work. Incorporating plants (or maybe even indoor ponds) to such design plans makes the office more lively. Researchers from Texas A&M University and Surrey University England confirm that plants do significantly lower workplace stress and enhance productivity. Plus, it allows employees to feel more connected to nature, despite being deep in the urban jungle.
All in all, sustainable business practices can have a great impact on employee productivity, but such practices can also improve your team’s overall physical and mental health. Our FOW Insights blog has some additional tips on looking after employee’s wellbeing, and you can incorporate these tips above in tandem with other ideas you may already have.