3 Ways an Eco-Friendly Office Workspace Can Inspire Employees
For entrepreneurs looking to get ahead, what difference can office workspace make to the environment? We’ll also hear from Steve Distante, CEO of Vanderbilt Financial, on the difference that being located in his particular LEED-certified New York City Suite has made on the entrepreneurial success of his firm.
While a healthy workplace is important for workers across the spectrum, it is of special value to the Millennial generation, which is quickly becoming the dominant workforce population in the United States. If you’re looking to retain these employees, having a social purpose is a must-have in the workplace. A study by Cone Communications states that 88% of Millennials find work more fulfilling when there is the opportunity to make a positive social or environmental impact (Cone, 2016). Companies looking to foster a sense of loyalty among their workers or even clients should consider the message about environmental impact that their company is making.
Getting in the Lead through LEED
Vanderbilt Financial has a unique mission: to replace the independent broker-dealer model with the Sustainable Entrepreneurial Firm, one that is focused on doing good in an industry that is badly beaten. Says Distante, “We are the light of an industry that has lost its way, and we help people invest their money in a way that is congruent with their values and passions.”
Vanderbilt’s financial advisor teams focus on a strain of investing called Impact Investing which allows investors to participate in the growth of companies whose mission has the good of the environment and society at large in mind. Through Vanderbilt, clients can choose from a lineup of sustainably-focused mutual funds, ETF’s, variable annuities, and private equity transactions in addition to equities and bonds.
In accordance with this philosophy, in September of 2015, Vanderbilt achieved LEED Platinum Certification, a green building program maintained by the United States Green Building Council. It was the office building on Long Island to achieve this status. All of the building materials were obtained from within a 500 mile radius of the building to ensure minimal consumption of fuel. Also, the HVAC system is configured to exchange indoor air with outdoor air more frequently. This improved ventilation and air quality elevates the employee experience within the New York City Suite. The LED lighting is more natural than traditional fluorescent lighting and reduces eye strain. Amazingly, the company is able to produce 98% of the energy it uses from the sun.
Being located within a green building reinforces the company’s core values. It goes further than just saying that your company has integrity or embodies certain ideals. For the financial advisors who are part of Vanderbit’s New York City suite, the theme of sustainability has been fully adopted into their practice and in their lives. The business decision about how to design the company’s office workspace was clearly made with the good in mind and that manifests itself in its physical presence.
Being in a LEED Platinum building is not only good for employees — it is good for the surrounding community as well. When people feel better being in the environment, they are usually inspired to share the spirit of the recycling and green innovations with their families and friends. For example, the use of low volatile compound paints and materials make the surrounding environment healthier. Free use of electric car charging stations allow employees to drive to and from work for free.
An ecofriendly workplace is also appealing to prospects and clients. When the financial advisors give a tour and point out all of the features and thought that went into the project, the clients become proud to be working with a company that values doing good in everything that it does, including its headquarters.
Said Distante, “Most companies don’t bother attempting to achieve LEED because they are afraid it will cost them more money. In reality, the cost upfront may be more, but the reduced absenteeism and both physical and mental health benefits far outweighs the cost.”
Coworking a Source of Inspiration
The rise of shared office workspace has been of great benefit to the environment for several reasons. Coworking centers, by their very nature, are pitching in and helping to save the environment through energy and space conservation. Through use of communal resources such as shared dining areas, restrooms, and meeting rooms, this type of office workspace is designed for efficiency.
But it’s not just in the space efficiencies. As a home to some of the most quickly growing companies, coworking centers are a place of great innovation. For example, some coworking operators even have specific ecofriendly initiatives they promote. For example, at Quest Workspace’s West Palm Beach office, Questers had the option to receive two months of free riding through a special offer from SkyBike. Not only does this help reduce carbon emissions but it also improve work-life balance and overall physical health for the Questers who participate.
Many coworking centers are home to companies who are doing great things for the environment with their businesses, and being in a close proximity to these businesses in a shared office workspace is a great thing for neighbors.
According to Chason Hecht of Retensa Employee Retention,“For top talent, the job is just one component of a complex employer relationship. A company’s sustainable initiatives increase the gravity of company culture, with attractors critical to recruit and retain high performing employees. Environmental programs that connect the individual’s values with the organizations future, increase loyalty and discretionary productivity, two hallmarks of leading organizations.”
Get Down With Eco Office Workspace, Today!
Getting the right coworking space is important if you want your voice to be heard. At Quest Workspaces, for example, the motto is “freedom to work the way you want.” Realizing that many Questers will want to voice preferences for working conditions, we encourage our clients to communicate with us with their views on sustainability.
Ready to give the office workplace of the future a try? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for your personal tour.
Cone Communications. (2016). 2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study. Retrieved from http://www.conecomm.com/research-blog/2016-millennial-employee-engagement-study