Top tips for achieving a sustainable workplace

This week we've been inspired by some of the amazing people, like Greta Thunberg, who have stood up and made people around the world realise we all need to take ownership of the impact we have on the climate. As part of Extentia Group we're committed to supporting the UN Sustainability Goals, and following on from our last blog on sustainability we wanted to look at steps businesses, landlords and employees can take to create a better, more inclusive, more sustainable workplace.

At SpaceInvader we act as workplace consultants and interior designers, delivering highly sustainable projects that are kind to the environment. But it doesn't stop there - we also believe that employee well-being is a key part of any sustainability programme and can result in improved productivity, increased morale, a reduction in sick days and higher staff retention. Our solutions are designed to support this and to enhance built environments, transform cultures, drive productivity, and empower employees.

We believe that leading by example is key and here are some of the initiatives we have introduced and how you can replicate them:

1. The design of our studios has the feel of a residential apartment to ensure that our employees are relaxed, inspired and motivated. But don’t just take our word for it... our recent project with Radius Payment Solutions to create an office space that drove productivity, inspired individuals and focussed on employee well-being was a huge success. The post occupancy survey found that 88% of employees felt the new offices had a positive impact on their well-being!

We understand that in most cases making wholesale changes to your workplace design may not be a viable option, but incorporating quiet spaces and breakout areas is an easy way to start this journey.

2. Biophilia is this year’s hot topic, but we’ve understood the benefits of having greenery within the office space for years. We have a large number of plants in all our offices that are designed to collect dust particles to naturally improve the air quality as well as provide a calming and much needed link to nature whilst in the city. We also have a plant root air purifier which allows microbes in the root zone to break down pollutants into components that the plant can digest.

Go green! You can start small – introducing plants and (live!) greenery into your communal areas i.e. canteens and meeting rooms can have an impact straight away. Want to take a bigger step? Why not encourage employees to bring in a pot plant for their desks!

3. We fully support flexible working as we believe that this helps drive creativity. As part of Extentia Group, all our teams have the ability to work between 7am-7pm - empowering our teams to design when and where they feel most productive.

Flexible working doesn’t work for everyone – those on shift work, manufacturers, education etc... but in most cases it is a viable option, and if you get it right it can have a big impact on productivity, well-being and retention. Research by Vodafone in 2017 found that of 3,000 workers around 71% said a flexible working policy would allow them to be more productive – something that was confirmed by our own research into working habits earlier this year. (We’ll be looking into flexible working later this month so watch this space for more information)

4. Our people are all offered subsidised gym memberships to support their health and well-being and access to an employee assistance programme as well as enhanced leave, volunteer and CPD days.

As a Group all our employees have access to a number of benefits and programmes designed to ensure we are supporting their well-being and empowering them to be the best they can be. As above this hasn’t happened overnight and we understand that not all businesses would be able to support all of these initiatives. Smaller initiatives like providing free fruit during the week or allowing employees set time a month to work on their own projects or CPD is a great place to start!