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How to make your recruitment office greener

We never thought we’d be so happy to see our offices again. Desks that don’t double as dining room tables!…

Author Photo by Kingsbridge

We never thought we’d be so happy to see our offices again. Desks that don’t double as dining room tables! An internet connection that doesn’t drop out every time the kids try to watch Paw Patrol! And actual, real-life, human people to chat to. Sure, we’ll miss having our cats as co-workers, but it’s great to be getting back to normal again.

That said, lockdown wasn’t bad news for everyone. One of the most startling and positive impacts of the stay-at-home policy was a dramatic reduction in UK carbon emissions, which were down by 10% in 2020. This is excellent news for the planet and the fight to stop climate change. But if we jump back into business-as-usual, this figure will only creep back up.

What lessons can we take from lockdown to help us be kinder to the planet going forward? In this blog, we look at some easy ways for recruiters to keep going green.

Go paperless

We’ll admit, we gave up trying to print at all during lockdown. Paper jams, empty cartridges, “cannot find printer” errors; it was all just too stressful. So, we understand the temptation to get back to the smooth warm copies of the office LaserJet. But UK service businesses create over 4.5 million tonnes of paper waste per year, according to government statistics. That’s nearly 300,000 trees a day!

While you were working remotely, you no doubt made use of cloud-based storage to share documents with colleagues, contractors and clients. If you’ve got a good system going, why go back to inefficient and environmentally unfriendly paper?

Paper lying around the office can also be a GDPR risk. If you need a tool to help manage your paperless communications with colleagues, take a look at our recent blog on the top management solutions for recruiters.

Work from home

A survey last week revealed that almost all 50 of the UK’s biggest employers are planning to allow staff to work from home at least some of the time when the pandemic is over. If your boss agrees, then working from home will let you cut down on pollution from your commute.

Emissions from passenger cars were down by 22% last year, making a huge impact on overall CO2 outputs. Even working from home just a day or two a week can make a positive difference.

Keep it on Zoom (sorry)

We know, we know, video calls are horrible. But so is driving a five-hour round-trip to attend a meeting that gets cancelled while you’re en route.

Where you can, keep travelling for in-person meetings to the very minimum, and stick to Teams or Zoom instead. It might not be fun, but it gets things done. This is especially worth considering for trips that would involve a plane journey.

Not only are emissions from aviation one of the largest contributors to climate change, but you’ll also avoid any potential quarantines and the rigmarole and expense of COVID testing on departure and return.

Switch it off

This one is so simple, yet so often forgotten: switch things off when you’re not using them! Don’t leave your computer whirring away overnight (the boot-up process is ideal tea-brewing time anyway). Switch off the lights when you all head out for lunch.

Smart solutions like motion sensors can also help keep energy consumption low, so if your office is still a bit old-school, suggest these to your boss. They’ll see cost savings on their electricity bill, too.

Use public transport

We’ve got used to avoiding public transport – leaving it free for keyworkers, skipping the mask-hassle and trying to reduce our exposure to the virus. However, the hope is that from the end of June all adults will be vaccinated, and this might make it feel safer to get back on the buses and Tube again.

Similarly, car sharing was advised against during the tighter stages of lockdown but could be a good green option once again, particularly during summer when keeping the windows down is going to create a cool breeze rather than an arctic frost.

Or, even better, perhaps you’ve developed a cycling or jogging addiction during lockdown that will let you do your commute under human-power (totally carbon-free).

Take a packed lunch

It’s hard to find on-the-go lunch options that aren’t covered in layers of single-use plastic. Taking in your own grub means less waste – and it’s easier on the wallet too. If you lack a lunchbox, recycled materials like jars and takeaway tubs make great packaging.

If you want to super-charge your climate contributions, you could go for meat-free options.

What are your ideas for greening your recruitment office? We’d love to hear them. Whether you are bouncing to be back in the office or planning on staying put a bit longer, Kingsbridge is here to support our partners in the return to business as usual.

If you’re taking new contractors on your books as industries reopen, remember to point them towards our simple, compliant, comprehensive insurance packages, which include that all-important PI and PL cover, as well as employers’ liability, directors’ and officers’ liability and occupational personal accident cover.

And if you’re finding keeping up with IR35 determinations a struggle since April, the Kingsbridge Status Tool can help, keeping clients and contractors alike onside by providing a transparent, objective and evidenced decision on the status of a contract.

Click here for a demo before you give the green light to heading back to the office.

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