For much of the past two years, climate change has often been pushed off the front pages and homepages of the media by COVID-19. But now, with the worst of the pandemic hopefully behind us, this vital issue can retake its place at the forefront of the global conversation.
It’s a conversation that Microsoft, as one of the world’s largest companies, is keen to lead. Microsoft has pledged to operate as a carbon-negative organization by 2030, and is now designing as many of its products as possible with sustainability in mind. It’s one of the reasons that Condeco is proud to be a Microsoft Gold partner, and we’re similarly committed to creating solutions that not only help us be more sustainable, but allow our customers to operate more sustainably, too.
But in 2022, what does sustainability mean for businesses like yours?
…And how can you make changes in order to support the fight against climate change in ways your employees will support?
This blog explores four helpful ideas for you to explore in the year ahead:
1. Embrace flexible work
While the practical and operational benefits of deploying flexible work models are already well-established, the benefits of doing so from a sustainability perspective can’t be overlooked, either. When employees work from home as they wish, and only come into the office when they need to, then their commuting demands – and therefore their commuting emissions – are significantly reduced.
But there’s a chance to go further with a more proactive approach. If employees are only visiting the office on a less regular and more occasional basis, you can take steps to encourage them to use public transport rather than relying on their car. This can further cut overall emissions by moving even more commuting off the roads.
2. Create a more efficient workplace
As your workforce begins to work more flexibly, and they get used to assuming control over their working when and where, your workplace will begin to be used very differently. Workspaces such as personal spaces and meeting spaces will be booked and used in different ways, but just as importantly, the day-to-day headcount within the office will likely be significantly reduced.
This gives you a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape and resize your real estate to match the evolved demand. By cutting back on floorspace and maximizing the efficiency of every workspace, you can cut back on electricity, ventilation and heating demands, all of which save on emissions creation.
3. Accelerate your cloud migration
At a more technological level, sustainability is a compelling reason to make a further push of more of your tech and data storage needs into the cloud. By relying more on the cloud and less on your on-premise data centers, you can make further savings in power and cooling needs, which can be substantial for large-scale data center deployments.
Making this change can be beneficial for flexible work, too. Firstly, it can make it easier for your employees to access the data and applications they need to do their jobs, wherever they’re working. But it also can be used to deploy a workspace booking platform that enables easy reservation of the workspaces, meeting rooms and associated resources available in the office.
4. Create smart buildings
Combine all of the above three points and you have an opportunity to create intelligent office buildings that run as efficiently and as environmentally friendly as possible. The combination of Internet of Things sensors, data and analytics, and a workspace booking software means you can get as close as practically possible to running a workplace that’s totally free of waste.
The end goal is a workplace that supports all employee needs, however flexibly they work, by connecting people, technology, utility systems and more. This can collectively form an interconnected ecosystem where business operations and sustainability can be treated with equal importance, and where making decisions that benefit one naturally benefit – rather than hinder – the other.
Learn more about the practicalities of embracing flexible, sustainable work in your organization in more detail with our free eBook.