In most modern offices, the focus is on efficiency and productivity. Most of the policies and rules focus on maximizing the output of each employee. Even the activities that center on the health and well-being of the workers are also connected to worker efficiency. In these environments, waste management could be brushed aside.
For offices with enough budget, they can hire the services of third party providers for waste management, paper shredding services, and general cleaning. This way, the workers could concentrate on their tasks.
However, an awareness of the importance of waste management and the environment, in general, is needed. In the office, they can promote that by encouraging the workers to develop the habit of recycling. The administration can make programs to make recycling fun and productive at the same time.
Show Initiative and Resolve
For the office administrators, they should make it very clear that they are serious about starting a recycling project. They should send the message that this is not a trendy fad or a social media challenge. Recycling will be a strict policy moving forward.
They can start with simple recycling tips and make it a habit. Implement a policy of sending memos via email and only print when necessary. Switch to paper cups instead of plastic, or require everyone to have their own reusable water containers. Ban Styrofoam containers in the office.
Be Clear and Creative in Your Messages
For email reminders, administrators could have daily recycling tips sent to individuals. They can use a different color, text font and size so employees recognize the environmental theme. After that, reinforce the message by providing facilities like clearly labeled and, user-friendly recycling bins. There could be adjustments in the floor plan, but this will only help in sending the message that the management is serious and committed to this.
Rouse their Competitive Fires
When the office is divided into departments and teams, there’s always a lot of good-natured us-against-them spirit going around. Competition can motivate employees to participate, more so when there is something at stake. Just ensure that the goal is clear and the workers are aware of the values the competition is promoting.
Prizes don’t have to be in monetary form. To maintain the good nature, it could be a lunch-out or something meaningful to the employees and their departments. The evaluation should be separate from productivity criteria, just to make sure it’s fair.
If there’s already competition on hand, games are not far behind. This is how to make the workplace fun. This way, the workers will receive the recycling message not as another task to fulfill, but something to let off steam with.
How many times have workers pretended to play basketball when shooting trash? This is something the management can pick up on. Allow space for such games by having decorated trash bins and even painting the disposal area to create a fun atmosphere. There are other creative ways to apply this in any office.
Set Definite Goals
The goal is zero waste—or close to it. There are wastes that can be measured, like recycled-to-waste ratios. Have the challenge to limit the waste of a team or department to one bag a day or a more reasonable proportion.
Recycling is not just for the home and it should not be an afterthought. At this point, the environment is a concern for everybody, and each company should also play their part.