A number of Fortune 500 companies are transitioning to open floor plan (getting rid of offices) to increase productivity and decrease costs. There are challenges to open floor plan (which include how to maintain a certain level of privacy for employee activity. There are a number of advantages as well such as cost savings from decreased utilities related costs and also decreased square footage needed per employee.
To ensure success adoption of an open floor plan concept, it is important to establish "ground rules" or etiquette for employees who occupy the space. For example, it is important to highlight the level of acceptable practices (e.g. "it may be acceptable to wear headphones to listen to music while working" but not acceptable to have your music speaker on that may distract others.") Also, it is important to have an open dialogue policy in which employees are encouraged to speak up if an individual is not adhering to the established group rules.
There are nightmares associated with open floor plans (e.g. "having employees bring in house hold pets such as dogs when fellow employees are allergic to them.")
Acceptance of telecommuting remains a challenge for management at most companies. However, there is a positive overall industry shift in decrease dependence on "face time" vs. "productivity."
I work for a major Fortune 500 company and the company have recently announced that they are no longer offering paper cups. Specifically, all employees are encouraged to bring their own mugs to work for hot beverages and bring their own reusable water bottles. In addition to cited cost savings, we are also more eco-friendly. I am so excited about this new initiative! There is a limited number of visitor mugs in the general pantry area for guest use.
I am so proud of this effort and hope that other companies follow suit. Now if only we can encourage folks to bring their own reusable utensils as opposed to offering the plastic forks, spoons and knives....
The following are tips on how you can make your meetings more eco-friendly:
- avoid dates on meeting signage so that you can reuse the meeting signage for another date/time in the future
- setup a collection bin for supplies near the entrance of the meeting hall so that individuals can drop off leftover supplies on their way out of the door
- communicate upfront to meeting participants the importance of making the meeting as eco-friendly as possible
- do not offer individual printouts of meeting presentations, ask individuals to either share a printout or bring up a digital version on their individual laptops
- use washable mugs, cups and utensils for meeting meals
- communicate the intent of reusing name tags so meeting participants will keep the name tags in good condition
- adjust the temperature in the conference room to a cooler temperature (or open windows if it is not too noisy outside)
- do not supply individual water bottles, supply gallon containers of water and have individual participants pour their respective drinks if needed
Upcycling is the process of creating new products from existing used materials. It is very common to find a number of upcycled totes (created from gently used clothing). One of my favorite upcycled product is a wine bottle lighting fixture. Here is a video that I came across that shows how to make one. I saw a number of these sold at a local earth day festival for about $18 each (not bad considering that the wine most probably costed that amount or less). I
I am looking forward to completing my first half marathon for this year. I will be running at the RunRaleigh Half Marathon this upcoming Sunday, April 14th, 2013.
As a marketing professional, I understand the effectiveness of product packaging and have spent many hours/days of my life reviewing various product packaging and designs. As an eco-friendly activist, I am very conscious of the type of product packaging and design used. You may noticed that there is a trend towards a reduction of toxic coloring and excess coloring on various product packaging. Some forward thinking companies, such as Glutino, have launched new product packaging that are primarily leveraging a white background (using less toxic coloring/dyes in their packaging). How can you help our environment from producing tons of toxic coloring waste and excess product packaging related waste?
- Please write to your favorite retailers and ask them to reduce their use of toxic coloring/dyes in their packaging.
- Please write and commend your favorite retailers that are leveraging less product packaging and simpler product designs.
- Stock up on your favorite products from companies that are leveraging less product packaging and more eco-friendly designs (consumer demand generates a change in corporate behavior).
I advocate until "I'm blue in the face" for less product packaging and simpler product designs and the impact is negligible compared to consumers' emails and phone calls demanding such changes be made (customer driven change).
Corporations respond to consumer demand and requests. I look forward to the day when I can walk into more retail stores and see minimal packaging or no packaging at all.