With New Year’s resolutions abounding right about now, let’s talk about some positive changes that can be made in the office. Although work is mostly for, well, working, everyday office tasks can be made over to be more eco-friendly and charitable. Here are some ideas for helping your office make a positive difference this year.
Many offices already have a recycling program in place. Consider starting one in your office, or expanding an existing program that might not include plastics or glass. See if any of your coworkers are interested in volunteering to help make trips to the recycling center, and then contact your boss about the best place to set up a collection (the break room is a common place). If possible, combine your initiative with another department’s and make the process even more convenient. Also, inquire about what your company does with its garbage— perhaps it’s just as convenient for them to take a load of recyclables out at the end of the day.
Order office supplies from local organizations
Everyone needs office supplies, but why not order from local companies or eco-friendly vendors? Although costs might be a little bit higher, ask local businesses about discounts for buying in bulk. Also, remember that shipping would be free if someone could pick up supplies in the store. Talk to your office assistant, or HR manager, about the possibility of making some more conscientious office supply purchases.
Organize casual Fridays
…where everyone pays $1 for the privilege of dressing down. All of the funds raised can either be donated to a charitable organization or used to purchase something fun for the office (an espresso machine, soda in the break room, etc.). Talk to HR about this, and consider whether the move would be appropriate for clients. And remember that “dressed down” does not mean sweat pants and stained t-shirts!
Petition for more ergonomic chairs
Ergonomic back rests for office chairs would be another good use of the casual Friday money. The health risks of sitting too much are well documented, and the health cost to many companies will be much greater than investing in a few ergonomic chairs. So, whether you spend casual Friday money or prepare a presentation for Human Resources, consider asking your employer for more support (ha!) for spinal health at work.
Partner with a charitable organization
Consider asking your employer to donate some goods or services to a charitable organization this year. (And, of course, volunteer your services as well!) Companies who can produce goods—books, groceries, office supplies, building materials—at cost can make tax-deductible donations to organizations that help support the community.
Partnering with an organization can also be cost-free. Consider hosting a blood drive, or other community event at your office. The event will bring in potential customers, and provide important support for the community. Plus, the blood drive folks bring cookies!
Do you have any plans for improving your office this year? Send me a tweet, or leave a comment below: @ithinkther4iamb #officeresolution
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Vectorportal