Building A Socially Responsible Office Space

What does the term ‘social responsibility’ in context to office space, mean to you? Does it just mean being eco-friendly?

Well, it’s not just that. In the contemporary world, the idea of social responsibility revolves around building an office environment that favours the interests of your employees and promotes their wellbeing, along with being eco-friendly in things you do to make that happen.

Your office space is considered ‘socially responsible’ when the above 2 ideas can coexist in harmony. These ideas should equally reflect in every item and equipment present in your office. Even in policies and procedures. But the important part is that these things should have a natural presence to it and should not feel as if its forced into the office environment. Having a natural presence means everything should be placed and installed with proper planning. A plan that addresses every work-related requirement as well comfort needs, along with doing justice to your eco-friendly vision. Once you have a plan in place, you can then start thinking of procuring specific models or customized renditions of office table and chair set, meeting table and tech accessories, that will help you execute your plan.

Below is a list of guidelines for the type of upgrades/changes you can make in your office, to make it more socially responsible.

Here are 5 simple ways to make your office more socially responsible:

1. Office Décor- Think beyond the normal!
When it comes tasteful décor ideas for office spaces, eco-friendly doesn’t really strike our minds. But to your surprise, there are hundreds of eco-friendly ways to create brilliant and serene aesthetics for your office. You just need to look for a greener alternative to everything that goes into your décor, like using paints with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), energy-efficient lighting and eco-friendly fibre-cement boards for partitions.

2. Promote a paperless office - Go digital
Digital and cloud computing solutions have enabled companies to become more collaborative, streamlined, efficient, and of course, eco-friendlier. With easy-to-use platforms like Microsoft 360, slack, google drive digital payroll etc., managing your entire work online has become extremely easy. This drastically reduces the carbon footprint as it eliminates the dependency on paper for a variety of tasks.

3. Support green vendors for furniture

Office Furniture is one of the core aspects of your office space. From your employee’s perspective, you need to prioritize on comfort, design and convenience. But you also need to work with suppliers that manufacture eco-friendly products. For that, you’ll need to scout out suppliers that will be ideal as per all your requirements.

Below is a list of considerations to make before selecting your supplier:

a. BIFMA certification- BIFMA or the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association sets standards for every supplier associated with it, that ensures the furniture produced by them is safe for users. Choose suppliers and products with BFIMA certification.

b. Design trends: Work with suppliers that are updated on the latest design trends such as modular office furniture and state of art ergonomic designs, so that your products don’t turn out to be outdated and disappoint your employees.

c. Warranty- Choose suppliers that offer products with up-to 10 years of warranty, so that you don’t have to spend on changing or repairing the furniture in the immediate future.

d. Made in India- Work with India based suppliers as they use local resources, thereby by creating opportunities in the community that they serve in. Also, remodelling of furniture is less time consuming.

HNI India is one of the leading office furniture manufacturers around the world. It offers a versatile range of office chairs and tables that comes with BIFMA certification and industry best warranty. Check out their website for more information.

4. More greenery, more happiness
The simplest way to go green is by placing plants in your office. But the bigger win here is that your employees are going to be really happy about it. Having plants in your office environment automatically beautifies your workspaces, and aids in purifying the air in your office. Indoor greenery can boost oxygen levels and remove harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide and formaldehyde. In fact, research reveals that indoor plants reduce 87% of indoor air pollutants within 24 hours.

Here are some examples of low maintenance indoor plants that you can use:
A. Spider Plant
B. Bamboo Palm
C. Lemon Balm
D. Aloe Vera
E. Weeping Fig

5. Food- Encourage organic foods in your office!
In today’s time, organic food is one of the most sought after things. Especially by millennials. Eating healthy is a status quo and organic foods have become a holy grail for most people. And the environment loves it even more! Organic farming practices help in reducing pollution, conserving water, reducing soil erosion, increasing soil fertility, and conserving energy. By encouraging organic foods, you are keeping your employees happy by giving them what they desire, and promoting greener farming practices.

These guidelines will definitely make you strongly consider eco-friendly alternatives for your office spaces, as it is extremely reasonable, easy-to-implement and highly effective. Being eco-friendly and making your employees happy can indeed, be one holistic corporate strategy.