6 Hallmarks of a Sustainable Home Office in 2023

Want to make your home office more sustainable? Our guide here has got you covered.

The workplace as we know it has experienced massive changes in the past few years. One of the biggest one? Where we work.

Today, in fact, offices can be anything from traditional business centers to living rooms and kitchens, from garden houses to vacation homes, cafes, and beyond. In particular, since the global pandemic broke out in early 2020, an unprecedented number of people have switched to remote work. 

The so-called “working from home” approach was no longer a nice-to-have option but rapidly became a necessity for millions of companies around the world, as lockdowns and social distancing measures made it impossible to commute to a physical location.

If you, too, work from the comfort and privacy of your own home, you might be wondering: how do I ensure that my home office is as green and sustainable as possible? The answers are easier than you think – and they are all in our essential guide right here.

What Counts As a “Home Office”?

Before we jump into looking at ways to boost the eco-friendliness of your home office environment, it might be helpful to clarify what qualifies as a home office. Below are the three main settings that can double as an office space in (or just outside) your house.

1.    A Dedicated Room in the House

If you are lucky enough to live in a property that has one (or more) spare room, then you might want to consider turning that area into your home office. Having a dedicated room in your house that functions exclusively as your office has several advantages, including more privacy, better focus, and enhanced productivity.

Don’t have an entire room that you can use inside your house? Your garage might work just fine. Just make sure that you are safe and comfortable there, and that your Wi-Fi connection is stable and reliable so that essential tech such as your favorite conference call software works.

2.    A Smaller Area within a Room

Not everyone has the opportunity to transform a whole room into a sleek office space. In those cases, your best bet is to set aside some space within a specific room. Most people opt for either their lounge or their kitchen, as these are usually the most spacious rooms in the house, but some prefer the peace and quiet that only the bedroom can offer.

One of the main downsides of this option is the fact that it doesn’t always allow you the quiet and privacy you need to perform certain tasks. This is why having the right technology installed  (such as proposal generation software) is essential, as it can help you get stuff done quickly and efficiently. 

3.    A Garden Office

If you run your own business, such as an ecommerce store, working from your own garden office can be a fantastic option. Of course, not everyone has a garden or backyard, and not every outdoor area features a garden office.

However, those who happen to be lucky enough to own a garden office will find that setting up their business in there has a plethora of benefits. First of all, because the garden office is physically separated from the main house, working there might give you that mood and motivation boosts that you need to tackle the day ahead (and to get to grips with your new ecommerce stock management software!).

Second, the other people who live in your house are much less likely to disturb you if you work in such a secluded part of the property. This, in turn, translates into higher productivity, more commitment, and better performance.


How Can You Make Your Home Office More Sustainable?

Now, let’s take a look at six foolproof ways that can help you turn your home office – whatever that looks like for you – into a greener and more sustainable space. 

1.    Repurpose and Recycle

This approach – which you should adopt in pretty much all areas of your life if you want to live more sustainably – works great in a home office setting, too. To achieve this, start with your home office furniture and supplies.

Look around your house and work out whether there are pieces of furniture, tools, or other equipment that is still in good working order and that you can repurpose for office use. Then, consider supplying your home office with refillable pens, reusable notebooks, and rechargeable batteries and other online home office products.

Lastly, always make the effort to recycle your office supplies whenever you don’t need them anymore. Follow your town’s specific regulations and processes around recycling items such as paper and electronics, or come up with creative ways to reuse them within your home office setting.

2.    Embrace Minimalism

A minimalist décor is not just one of the trendiest ways to furnish and decorate a room – it’s also one of the most sustainable ones. It’s easy to see why: the fewer objects you surround yourself with, the fewer waste you produce, the better it is for the planet.

So, when it’s time to create your new home office from scratch, opt for a minimalist approach. Wave goodbye to useless, expensive impulse buys such as fancy new sofas or tech gadgets just because you have seen something similar on social media. If you don’t genuinely need them, simply don’t buy them – the environment (and your bank account) will thank you for it.

home office

Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

 

3.    Shop Less – and Shop Local

Speaking of impulse buys – these can truly affect both your finances and, you’ve guessed it, the planet. Why? Because, normally, items that are purchased in the so-called “heat of the moment” tend to be items that you don’t need – or, even, want.

Perhaps, you have heard about them from a friend or co-worker, or you have seen them advertised on tv or online. But before you pull your credit card out of your wallet, think twice and ask yourself whether that specific item will add genuine value to both your home office and the environment.

If the answer is “no”, then skip it. If you are still convinced that you genuinely need that specific piece of office furniture, tech gizmo, or even a smart new office suit, then consider buying those from local businesses.

Yes, it is very tempting to browse those uber-famous online marketplaces that seem to have all the items you could ever dream of (and that could be delivered to you in a matter of hours). Nonetheless, if you really want to make a positive impact on the environment, make the effort to shop local.

Shopping from your neighborhood hardware store or boutique, for example, can help the environmental cause in many ways. By walking to the store yourself instead of having the goods delivered to you via a van or a truck you vastly reduce your carbon footprint.

Similarly, this can allow you to support your local businesses and economy, which makes it more likely for other people to follow in your steps and stop ordering items online. With such simple, everyday decisions, you could cut the carbon emissions of an entire town – that’s pretty huge, right?


4.    Let Some Natural Light in

Not only is natural sunlight much better for your mood and your physical well-being, but it also means that you won’t need to rely on artificial (and environmentally harmful) lighting devices. The bottom line? Much lower energy consumption and a slimmer energy bill at the end of the month.

5.    Nurture Your Green Thumb

We all know how great it is to spend time outdoors. But, when you are stuck in your home office for hours on end, five days a week, it can be tricky to get out in nature. That’s why you should bring nature in, by adding a few selected plans to your home office.

Not only will the addition of some greenery benefit your mental and physical well-being, but it will help the planet, too. Keeping plants and flowers in your home, in fact, was found to decrease levels of carbon dioxide by around 25% in buildings with no air conditioning, or 10% in buildings with air conditioning.

6.    Choose the Right Technology (and Power It Off When You’re Done)

Selecting the best technology for you – such as software integration solutions and cloud-based tools – is another great way to be more eco-friendly in your home office. Technology helps you get things done faster and more efficiently, while eliminating your reliance on printed paper documents – a real win-win.

When your working day is over, though, remember to switch off all your tech, or you will be using up the so-called “phantom power”. This refers to the energy that your devices keep consuming while being plugged in and powered on without being actually used.

So, shut down your laptop, turn off Aircall (or one of these great alternatives to Aircall), and do not power them back on until the next time you need to work.


Be More Eco-Friendly When Working from Home

If you work for home and care about our planet, this article should have helped. Creating a sustainable home office, in fact, is much simpler and affordable than you think. 

From choosing the most efficient technology (such as text messaging software for business) to adding some plants to your office area, from keeping the décor simple and minimal to shopping local, there are lots of actions you can take.


Publisher’s Note: This content is made possible by our Today’s Homeowner Campaign Sponsors: Whirlpool and Carrier. These companies take sustainability seriously, in both their products and their operations. Learn more about building and buying homes that are more affordable and less resource intensive.

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