Is your office guilty of these energy sins?

Is your office guilty of these energy sins?

Is your office guilty of these energy sins?

There are some powerful reasons for bosses and office managers to encourage staff to adopt good habits when it comes to energy consumption.

Firstly, it limits the environmental impact of your business, but it can also help your bottom line by reducing how much you spend on bills.

Despite these advantages, research has suggested that it is still extremely common for people to fall into bad habits.


The biggest 'energy sins'

Comparison website UK Power conducted a poll of 1,000 UK residents to find out more about their energy habits. While some of the findings relate specifically to household use, they also provide insights into how workers are likely to behave in the office.

One in three people (33 per cent) admitted to leaving kitchen appliances plugged in when they are not in use, while 30 per cent said they leave laptops plugged in even if they are fully charged.

Other common habits that could push up business energy bills include leaving lights on in empty rooms (26 per cent), leaving laptops on standby (22 per cent) and putting the kettle on even if it has only just boiled.

Inefficient or excessive use of electrical appliances can add up to considerable costs for businesses. If, for example, a company's 100 employees each microwaved their lunch every day, it would create an annual energy bill of £3,024, smallbusiness.co.uk reported.

Nick Heath, head of insight at UK Power, pointed out that there have been some positive developments with regards to energy awareness, such as the introduction of smart meters to help homes and businesses keep track of their costs.

"But it's very interesting to see that there's still a lack of clarity around the most and least expensive items to run, as well as the numerous bad habits people continue to have inside and outside of their homes," he added.

"We hope our research will make people think twice about their energy habits, and of the positive impacts very small changes can have on their household and business bills."

Breaking bad habits

It's extremely easy for office workers to fall into bad habits such as leaving kitchen appliances switched on or forgetting to turn off the light when they leave a room.

Fortunately, there are a number of things bosses and team leaders can do to help people break these habits.

Firstly, it's important to communicate to employees how damaging these sorts of practices can be. However innocuous it might seem to leave a light switched on, if many people are doing it over a long period of time, it can have a big impact.

These messages should be conveyed to staff in a positive, informative way - not in a manner that makes people feel that they are being told off or bossed around.

It's possible that something as simple as leaving a note in the office kitchen saying 'Don't forget to switch off appliances at the mains' can help to change habits.

Office leaders should also set a good example by adopting eco-friendly practices and encouraging others to do the same.


Posted by Diego Quintero

Image courtesy of iStock/muthardman