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Employee Well-being Insights | Helping Employees Reduce Their Environmental Impact While Working Remotely

According to new research from environmental charity Hubbub, 68 per cent of UK residents have noticed an increase in how much electricity their household has used compared to this time last year. This increase is largely due to workforces transitioning to remote work since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. And now, 3 in 5 workers aged 16-24 are worried about the impact working from home will have on their household bills.

With only 1 in 5 workers saying they are getting support from employers to work and live more sustainably at home, it’s time for organisations to assist their employees by providing resources and guidance for a more eco-friendly work environment. 

The following are actions employers can take to help employees be more sustainable while working from home.

Communicate the Organisation’s Sustainability Strategy

In recent studies, it’s been found that job seekers report greater attraction to organisations they believe are environmentally friendly. Organisations can increase transparency among their workforce by sharing their sustainability efforts with employees. In fact, 37 per cent of employees said their employer hadn’t shared their efforts but believe that they should. 

In addition, organisations can encourage employee feedback on sustainability efforts. According to Gallup, organisations that encourage feedback see 14.9 per cent lower turnover rates. Giving employees the chance to communicate their thoughts and ideas about sustainability allows organisations to fully understand the current state of the workplace.

Support Employee Sustainability at Home

With 50 per cent of employees wanting their employer to do more to tackle the environmental impact of working from home, it’s important that organisations work to support their employees remotely. One way employers can help is to share their surplus of electronics and equipment with staff while they work from home. This will help limit the number of items employees have to purchase, and as businesses look to cut back on office space, donating or sharing their resources can also prevent them from going to waste. On the other hand, if employees do need to purchase their own electronics and equipment, employers can guide them to more environmentally friendly options when it comes to printers, appliances, furniture and other supplies.

Employers can also share advice on how to reduce household energy bills. These resources can include guides to installing a smart thermostat, buying more efficient appliances and being smarter about water usage, among other things.

Help Reduce Water Use at Home

Over 50 per cent of employees have reported an increase in water use while working from home. Employers can share water-saving tips with their employees, including:

  • Using a bowl in the sink when washing fruit, vegetables or dishes
  • Turning off the tap when cleaning teeth
  • Using a water-saving device in the toilet cistern

Help and Encourage Staff to Change to a Green Energy Tariff

A green energy tariff uses electricity that is generated from a range of sources—some of which is renewable—and is mixed together before being supplied to people’s homes. The benefit of a green energy tariff is that the supplier will match some or all of the electricity

used with the amount they buy from renewable energy generators, meaning the greater the number of households that sign up, the more renewable energy is fed into the National Grid. Employers can encourage their employees to change to a green energy tariff, and can even provide incentives for those who switch suppliers.

For more information on helping employees reduce their environmental impact while working from home, contact us today.

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This Employee Well-being Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. © 2021 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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