In June 2020, The Project NZ did a TV segment on our how we've set up our new office workspace (see below). Not for any of the reasons you might normally feature a new fit-out, but because we've been conscious and considered about how we've done it. Every decision was made to minimise our environmental impact. Here are some ideas to think about next time you're in a position to do the same.
1. Buy Secondhand Furniture & Electronics
The most important thing we did was source all our furniture from online auction sites, but also from friends, family and thrift stores. Sure, it took a lot longer to find what we wanted, and yes, the team was pretty sick of 'camping out' for weeks on end waiting for the perfect set of ten chairs to appear, but it was worth it.
Even our computers are secondhand. Ours were 'refurbished' and came with a 12 month warranty which took a lot of the uncertainty away.
Lundia shelving, artwork, Haworth Zody office chairs, IMO Desks and even our plants are secondhand!
2. Find a space with great Natural Light
Our space is drenched in natural light from huge high windows. It's great for the pocket and the environment as we only need to turn the lights on if it's a really overcast day, and even then, we often forget. But it's also just a beautiful space to work in. No-one likes sitting under halogen lighting or in a dark room. Think of it as an investment in team morale and productivity too.
3. Be Close to Public Transport
Make it super easy for your team not to have to drive by getting an office close to public transport routes.
We're constantly surprised by how much organic waste we generate for a small team ... it's not like we even cook in the office. Sure, there's a fair bit of packaging in there, but it's also dead flowers, paper bags soiled with food, the odd coffee cup (not usually from our team, I might add, but visitors) as well as food scraps.
For a while, one of our team was taking all our scraps home to her neighbour's goat, but these days we have it collected and composted. It's super easy. We use We Compost for ours. but there'll be a company local to you for sure. They provide a bucket which they take with them every Wednesday and replace it with a clean one.
5. Set up a library of 'Reusables'
When we noticed the team coming back from a break with their smoothies in takeaway cups we realised it was time to add to our existing stash of reusable 'Keep Cups' and takeaway containers. A quick visit to Tank and we had a couple of reusable smoothie cups for the team to take with them instead.
6. Other Tips
Turn off your zip hot water heater and only boil the jug when required.
Make plunger coffee rather than using pods.
Recycle all packaging waste (or if it's compostable, get a collection - see above).