Think Green

Tricks for Efficient Office Lighting

We can all understand how office buildings use up a good portion of energy. According to Southern California Edison, the average commercial office building uses about 30 percent of consumed energy on lighting. The energy efficiency of office lighting often gets overlooked, but is an important aspect of sustainability for us to consider. Here are four tips to decrease our electrical intake at work.


#1: Opt for Natural Light

Daylight is by far the best source of light around for the workplace. Natural light is the most cost-effective solution, and it has been directly linked to improving employees’ sleep activity and overall happiness. If we have plenty of windows but aren’t close in proximity, it’s time to consider rearranging the office.

#2: Turn off the Lights

We can save a lot of money by turning off lights that only require occasional use, such as the bathroom and kitchen areas. By turning off these lights after usage, we will save considerably on energy and also improve the overall longevity of the light bulbs themselves. We should pinpoint the areas of the office that don’t always need a light on, and make sure to turn them off after we are done.

#3: Sensors

While turning off the lights is a great energy saver, it’s easy to get busy during the day and become forgetful. Motion-sensor lights are a great alternative and will turn on and off automatically when an employee leaves the room. This will produce the same energy benefits as turning off the lights, just without the annoying reminders to coworkers.

#4: LED Lighting

If we are using the same old fluorescent lighting fixtures, it is probably time for a much needed upgrade. LED lights are designed to use about 75 to 80 percent less energy, and will last much longer, too! LED exit signs are also a great energy idea for the office and can last upwards of 25 years.

How does your organization promote energy efficiency? We would love to hear about it!


5 Keys to Spring-Cleaning your Office Space

Spring is officially here! With the changing of the seasons, we have probably started to take advantage of the nicer weather and longer hours of daylight. Spring is also the perfect time for workspace improvement, and what better way to accomplish it than by some good old-fashioned spring cleaning. Here are 5 tips to get your office space feeling right again.


#1: Organize!

When most people think of spring cleaning, what often comes to mind is throwing things away. While this is certainly helpful, sometimes we simply need is to organize all the belongings around us. We should divide all of items on our desk into zones if we can, and tools like filing cabinets can provide much-needed space. A good rule of thumb is to keep everything you need within an arm’s length, and everything else neatly put away.

#2: To-do, To-Read, To-File

Continuing the first organization tip, every paper we have should be organized into three categories: to-do, to-read, and to-file. Start by organizing all papers into these three piles; from here, we can have three labeled binders for easy placement of everything going forward. By using these three categories, we can eliminate that mountains of paper that inevitably end up on our desks at times.

#3: Clean Up that Clutter Drawer

The good, old clutter drawer. Chances are we’ve all had one at some point in time – that infamous top drawer where we keep all items we need in some way, but don’t necessarily like to have on our desks. By throwing everything into one drawer, it will be difficult to find our stapler or sticky notes when we will actually need to use these items. Drawer dividers or organizers are a great way to place all of our items into organized sections so we can easily access the items we need.

#4: Digital Clutter

So now you have your desk and office space cleaned off – nice work! Unfortunately, there is probably a bigger mess lurking in the computer. It’s to stash all of the files we need on our desktop, or in one master folder – but that won’t do any favors to our stress levels. The same can be said for not properly organizing and deleting or archiving emails. Luckily, our computers and software have great built-in filing and organization systems. We should create an adequate number of folders that are easy to access, and regularly delete old files on our computers to keep the digital clutter at bay.

#5: Regular Upkeep

Let’s not wait until spring every year to clean our office space! One of the best things we can do is establish a limit for how much clutter we can comfortably deal with. We all get busy, and things eventually pile up, but when we hit our clutter capacity it’s time to clean things up. By spending minimal amounts of time doing some basic cleaning each week, we can all breathe a sigh of relief and maintain our ideal work environment.

Do you have any spring-cleaning suggestions or techniques to maintain a clutter-free office? Share them with us!


Office Design Trends for 2015

With 2015 still newly upon us, here are some office design trends we think you can expect to see in the upcoming year.


Integrated Technology 

Sometimes less is more! With recent advances in technology (i.e., the latest smartphones, tablets, and hybrid computers), you might be noticing less clutter on your office desk. And with so many wireless products available, gone might be the days of having to worry about tripping over cables around your workstation. Expect to see more technology built in to the workplace this year, as well. From built-in charging stations and USB ports and outlets in furniture, to a new big-screen in the conference room for wireless video presentations – there is no shortage of upgrades you can expect to see around a modern office.

Open-Concept Design 

With the current speed and connectivity of technology, open communication is more vital than ever to business growth. Many employers strive to foster creativity and brainstorming by utilizing an open-concept office design. Comfort is always key, and these designs should ensure that employees will feel relaxed both standing and sitting in the office for long intervals. Privacy is still needed, so expect to see “phone booth” concepts and other separated enclaves to provide individual privacy. Open-concept design is also ideal for networking and welcoming clients and prospects to your office. This year, expect to see fewer cubicles and more open and inviting workplaces.

Environmentally Friendly 

Also expect to see more integration of eco-friendly practices in office design this year. Natural light and energy-efficient lighting are essential to a “green” workplace; technology (such as computer monitors) may also be updated to become more energy efficient. Environmentally friendly office furniture and supplies are also key; a wide variety of products with recycled content and other eco-friendly features are becoming more prevalent and affordable. Even nature-inspired office color schemes featuring earth tones and greens may become more prevalent this year.

Do you have some predictions for office trends in 2015? We would love to hear them!


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