Renovating your workplace? Plan ahead and go green.
In the workplace, traffic flow, light, and air temperature can greatly affect productivity. In retail or service settings, they can also affect sales. Although making changes to the existing layout or structures of your workplace may cost money upfront, making changes that improve efficiency and productivity can often balance the expenses in a short period of time.
The most important step to take before starting any renovations is to make a plan. Making a detailed plan that captures short and long-term changes — and sticking to it — will help keep the project closer to your budget, and ensure that each piece works together cohesively.
For all your renovations, make choices that are:
- Sustainable — use materials that are non-toxic throughout their entire lifecycle;
- Durable — cutting initial costs by buying poorer quality materials or equipment can cost you more in the long run;
- Energy-efficient — long-term operating and maintenance costs can have a dramatic effect on your bottom line. One way to ensure energy efficiency is part of your renovation is to start with a lighting assessment.
Painting green (no matter what colour!)
A relatively easy, inexpensive and effective way to update your workspace is to add a fresh coat of paint. Painting can make a space feel cleaner, larger, and more welcoming. Here are some tips to increase the energy efficiency, sustainability, and comfort of your workplace for your staff and clients:
- Lighter colours will allow light to reflect off surfaces and penetrate deeper into a space. Plan your colours to avoid increasing glare on workstations, but to maximize existing light. More tips for making the most of natural light.
- Paint ceilings in light colours and use reflective sheens (semi gloss, gloss) to help reflect light from a window further into a room.
- Zero-VOC and low-VOC paints have little smell compared to other paint, so employees are less likely to be bothered by the fumes, even during painting.