At Springday, we’ve taken the rubbish bins out of our office. Now our waste goes into recycling bins in the shared kitchen, or it goes home. Why? Because if my team and I don’t have bins at our feet, then we think twice about what we throw out. It’s making a difference already. We’re finding we can use things again, or recycle them, and if we do need to get rid of something we get up and walk out of the office to do it. Extra exercise! Bonus! The rubbish bin thing is part of Springday’s ongoing bid to be sustainable in everything we do, and we do it because we believe sustainability is an essential part of workplace wellbeing.
By sustainability, I don’t just mean turning off lights at night (though that helps). Sustainability goes further than caring for nature: true sustainability means caring for one another as well. Sustainable workplaces keep their employees happy, healthy and safe, act ethically and are socially responsible – and try to improve the natural environment at the same time.
Sustainability doesn’t just make us feel good. It brings serious rewards, including to the bottom line. For example, employees engaged in sustainable practices feel they’re making a difference and are more engaged – and engaged employees increase profits. Employees who are happy, safe and well don’t take sickies – and this, again, bumps up profits. Besides, workplace sustainability’s just good financial practice. Using less of things, like electricity or paper, saves money. That’s not to say all sustainable practices are cheap but sometimes the benefits are worth it. Being green, for example, or producing ethically responsible goods will strengthen your reputation and thus your brand. Increasingly, too, it’s the deciding issue for both consumers and other organisations about whether you’re worth supporting at all.
That said, very few workplaces manage to achieve complete sustainability. Most of us are on a journey towards an ideal and as with Springday’s rubbish bins, we all benefit from a nudge in the right direction. So here are some easy-to-implement ways of making your workplace more sustainable, if you aren’t doing them already.
Let’s start with just some of the ways your workplace can care for nature. You can:
- Encourage or provide healthy food options in your cafeteria or vending machines
- Ban plastic as far as possible, including avoiding disposable food containers, like taking real mugs to the coffee stand (we have superhero-themed mugs at Springday)
- Manage your use of electronics, for example by choosing appliances with more energy stars, or even getting foot switches to turn off multiple devices at a time
- Use less paper by reducing hard copy and staying online, or even setting the default on your printer to print double-sided
- Hold virtual meetings, by skype or teleconference instead of making people travel
- Buy green. That means buying products that last, or recycled products, concentrating on products that have environmental benefits and are non-toxic
- Recycle everything, including your mobile phones
- Start an office compost system (think coffee grounds, tea bags, food scraps, paper…someone can take this home, or better still, dig it into an office herb garden?)
- Buy local as far as possible.
And what about the other part of sustainability, looking after one another? Here, think about how you can:
- Make your workplace accessible. Flexible working arrangements – flexible working hours, patterns, locations –mean that groups like carers, working mothers, older people and the disabled have opportunities to contribute and earn. They win, and you do too
- Promote ethical values by setting examples of ethical behavior, for example by insisting that human rights be protected in your workplace
- Organise your workplace to maximise occupational health and safety (I’m sure you do this already)
- And last but definitely not least, help support and improve employee wellbeing. Establish a strong wellbeing culture that permeates everything you do and covers the five essential pillars of wellbeing, namely physical, social, emotional, career and financial wellbeing. Activities here range from walking meetings to EAPs, to flu vacs. And remember, when it comes to employee wellbeing, Springday can help. If you want to be more sustainable in this area, give us a call or email us.
Corporate Health Group Business Breakfast
On 28 October, I’ll be a panellist at an exclusive business breakfast from Corporate Health Group in Adelaide. We’ll be discussing wellbeing as an engagement solution for your workforce.
Engagement and wellbeing are different, but employee engagement is unsustainable without employee wellbeing. Using wellbeing to engage employees has shown to increase attendance and productivity by 3-11%. Engaged employees with high wellbeing are 35% more attached to their organisation.
The research is clear – we want to attract and retain good people and ensure they remain well to be productive. Investing in coordinated face-to-face wellbeing programs, supported by accessible platforms and wearable technology, offers an opportunity to improve health outcomes.
The Corporate Health Group Business Breakfast provides an opportunity for South Australian businesses to hear from health and wellbeing experts and to discuss experiences, current challenges and potential solutions for engaging your workforce.
If you’re interested in joining us, email me so I can send you an invite.
National Workplace Health Association of Australia Conference
On 18-19 October, I’ll be one of over 30 speakers at the 2016 National Workplace Health Association of Australia Conference, now celebrating its 10th Year.
The theme is The Puzzle of Workplace Health. Putting the pieces together. I’ll be speaking alongside keynote speaker Liesel Jones and other international and leading Australian speakers in the areas of mental and physical wellbeing, use of technology in workplace health and the integration of OH&S and wellbeing. There will also be some great networking opportunities, including a cocktail function.
I’ll be speaking in the Technology Stream on APPocalypse: The future of platforms and apps.
Springday product update
Have you heard about our Zombie Quest? Zombie Quest is an 8-week team-based fitness challenge that involves step, nutrition, sleep and hydration focuses. The game is underpinned by a fun narrative involving zombies, evil villains, absent-minded professors and plucky resistance fighters. Check out our demo site and make friends with Sallie Sassie and Professor Pfeffernek.
What else is going on?
Check out some interesting reads I’ve come across in the last month:
I’m very supportive of women in sport and that’s why I want to say a big CONGRATS to Netball Australia for paying real salaries to their players now. Check out this video by Samsung shining a light on our Diamonds.
Contaminate your colleagues with positivity and motivation. The phenomenon is called relational energy and it’s responsible for how your state of mind affects your co-workers. This article looks at how positivity and motivation can improve your organisation.
Making your way to a doctor’s appointment can be challenging. Hospitals are now partnering with transport apps such as Uber to ensure their patients get their treatment, check-ups and rehabilitation.
Turns out that “hot-desking” is not as beneficial as presumed. Research shows that shared office spaces create an anti-social workforce. Do you agree? We’d love to hear from you.
What are the world’s top CEOs doing to stay efficient, relaxed and sane? Try these habits, which are common among the most productive people.
Moodivator – an app for people with depression that helps set, track and achieve goals. Tying in with cognitive behavioural therapy, the app tracks peoples’ mood, sleep, activity and nutrition.
#14: Your words are more important than your thoughts, so start inspiring people. Check out these 20 truths about life no one wants to admit. They may inspire you to live in the moment, do your best and improve your relationships.