Sustainability at home, on the road, and in the workplace is something that everyone should strive for in the modern world. But not everyone ‘believes’ in sustainability, either because of the information they seek out, or they are set in their ways. As a business, this can impact your dedication to creating a more sustainable working environment, and so you must encourage all of your employees to embrace sustainable practices.
But they can still be resistant to your encouragement, which can put you in a tricky position. However, it’s not something that you should give up on altogether. Instead, it would be best if you found reliable solutions for encouraging sustainability in your workforce.
Allow Flexible Working
Flexible working is the future and anyone who disagrees risks being left in the past. While the Coronavirus pandemic has caused unsettling ripple effects across the world, with unemployment and business closures, it has also proved to doubters that remote and flexible hours can work. This doesn’t just come at the benefit of the employee, but also the planet. By going into the office less frequently, there will be fewer carbon emissions from petroleum. There will be less waste created at the office, and your employees will save money every month. Even if there are instances where everybody needs to be in the office, carpooling, public transport, or cycling and walking to work are decent alternatives to everyone taking their car.
Provide Work Laptops or Tablets
Many companies still use desktop computers that all connect to a central server in the office. However, desktops need to be plugged in all day long, and in many offices, they are never actually switched off, even over the weekend.
We don’t need to explain why this is a problem. But there is a solution. Using company laptops and tablets will provide a more sustainable solution, and businesses can install the company software and connect it to the intranet to ensure that nothing is lost.
Neither laptops nor tablets need to be plugged in at all times to operate. Furthermore, they are more portable, which means employees can work whenever and wherever, without needing to rely on the office server system.
Minimize Office Space
Such ideas also translate to reducing office space. While the intranet is a useful thing for many businesses, it’s also becoming more outdated as the years ago on. Cloud storage is the thing that is replacing it, and considering database migration is both simple and effective, it’s something for any business seeking to encourage sustainability should investigate further.
Eliminating dedicated servers in the office and choosing cloud computing will help to reduce how much space each office needs drastically. Furthermore, with remote working, you can half the number of desks and chairs required if only half the team is in all week.
Through this, you will save money on office rental and energy, and that’s what sustainability is all about.
Offer Sustainability Incentives
Sometimes, people need to feel like they are earning something if they are going to change their ways, even if it is as mutually beneficial as sustainability. By providing incentives to make people change their ways, such as meal vouchers, discount gym memberships, or even big monthly prizes, you may find that more people are willing to explore how they can be more eco-friendly at home and the office.
Creating league tables and encouraging friendly competition will inspire the winning mentality that you need. If one person wants to bike to work three times a week, another may want to do it four times a week. Over time, more people will recognize that such competition is fun, and more people will get on board.
If you offer perks with every milestone that others achieve, you will witness a higher drive to do better. At their core, people can be very simple to understand, and competition is one of the ways to do that.
Don’t Negatively Compare
Despite this competition, you should also always remember that any efforts made are a good thing. Because of this, it doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t hit their sustainability targets, they should be encouraged to do what they manage regardless.
Not everyone has the opportunity to live a more sustainable life at home or the office, so you should consider this when determining who has performed ‘best’. As there is always the chance of mitigating circumstances at home, it’s never right to scold or demean just because an employee didn’t do as well as they’d hoped.
Not only could this embarrass them, but it could also demotivate them. So, no matter who does what, positive reinforcement and encouragement is the way forward.
Educate and Train
Often, people ignore embracing sustainable practices because they aren’t sure how to be more eco-friendly. They may try researching by themselves, but as there is so much information out there, it can feel intimidating to try and get through and remember it all.
Again, this can be demotivating and demoralizing. It’s worth offering beginner training for anybody who wants to get involved but doesn’t know where to start. This training shouldn’t be something too serious, and there shouldn’t be a Pass or Fail type of exam at the end. Instead, you can use it to share your knowledge with whoever is interested.
By providing this training free of charge and using infographics, you’ll be able to witness clear and evident changes in staff behavior when it comes to seeking sustainable solutions.
Give An End Goal
Incentives will get people started, but if they don’t believe there is a valuable end goal in sight, they are unlikely to stay motivated for too long. Of course, the primary end goal is to leave a healthier and more livable planet. This reasoning is unlikely to work on everybody, though, and so you need to consider something that appeals closer to them.
Monetary bonuses and increased vacation days could all factor into encouraging people to continue a sustainable approach. They may also look for time at home rather than at the office if flexible working is not a company-wide policy.
You can also look to inspire an emotional response within them if they are struggling to stay motivated while making office-wide promises for pizza parties, and other treats could also give them the drive to keep going.
Lead By Example
You cannot expect your staff to embrace sustainability if they do not believe that you are as dedicated to the cause as you suggest. Being a leader means leading by example, and therefore you should do what you can to prove to your staff that you are all in this together.
Rather than claim to be more sustainable, you can include yourself on any statistics and leaderboards. Some managers prefer to lead the pack, while others make it seem as though others are overtaking them to boost motivation and see the results they want.
Whichever tactic you choose, it’s vital to show everybody that you are not just talking about sustainability, but also living the lifestyle that you encourage them to follow.
Greener Office Living
Creating a cleaner and greener office environment is not just something to make the business look good to outsiders. It will also benefit everyone who comes into the office every day. By working together to encourage a greener atmosphere through a variety of measures, you can guarantee that your employees will feel better, be happy, experience less stress, and severely reduce the risk of burnout. Even if it takes them a while to come around to sustainability, they will be convinced once they witness the benefits.