A green home office is a great way of increasing productivity while bearing sustainability in mind. The fact that you are not commuting to work is already a feather in your environmental cap, as you are not adding to the existing carbon dioxide load. Working from home is also reputed to be more productive, with less distractions and the possibility of some tax savings if you are self employed.
Pros of working from home
There are distinct advantages to working from home, including:
- reduced overheads, including less transport costs
- the potential to claim tax deductions
- flexible working environment
- peace and quiet encourages productivity
- the possibility of more family time
There are also downsides to the experience, and includes: isolation from colleagues, lack of motivation, difficulty in maintaining a routine and potential interference from family.
Tips for a productive home office
Follow these simple guidelines to avoid falling into the unproductive home office trap:
- Maintain a distinction between your office space and the rest of the home
- Work when it best suits you but bear in mind regular business hours if you need to network or call clients
- Try avoid the distraction of daytime television and stick to music or the radio
- Make time to leave the house and meet a friend or have lunch
Green office pointers
Here are some pointers to help you transform your home office into a green, sustainable and productive space:
Work with natural light
– this may involve installing a skylight or a simpler (and cheaper) step, such as moving your desk nearer a window or glass door.
Utilise energy efficient products
– laptop computers use considerably less than their desktop cousins, so consider opting for one as well as fitting energy efficient light bulbs throughout your work space
Behave in a green manner
– try to remember to switch off electrical products and not leave them on standby, as this consumes electricity unnecessarily. Products, including computers are increasingly coming with an energy rating system – which allows you to choose a product based on its energy efficiency
Stock green office supplies
– this includes plain paper, which is a more environmentally friendly option for fax machines than thermal paper, which is not recyclable
– print only what is essential and necessary, and save considerably on paper costs. It is increasingly feasible to run a ‘paperless’ home office, including the use of online file storage solutions
Contract to a green energy provider who sources renewable energy such as wind or hydro power
Locate a green energy provider to help you make your home office truly green.