Did you know that going green benefits both the environment and your employees’ overall health? Since healthier employees make for more productive employees, any business can reap the rewards by switching to more environmentally-friendly policies.
Research indicates that exposure to certain toxins impacts the respiratory system, the central nervous system and even the digestive system. If your office contains a ton of toxins, higher absenteeism follows.
Taking simple steps to green up your workplace pays off in fewer absences and makes it easier for employees to focus on the work at hand.
Many common office items contain toxins known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from chemicals used during production. New paint, office furniture and machinery, carpeting and more all may contain VOCs. As these compounds decay over time, they release dangerous fumes in the process.
Research reveals that exposure to VOCs irritates the lining of the nose and throat. Inflamed tissue makes the affected individual more open to infections.
The result? In offices with a high amount of VOCs, when one employee gets sick, the rest follow shortly after that. This creates undue absences and labor shortages, especially during cold and flu season.
What’s even scarier is that long-term exposure to VOCs can damage the liver, the lungs and the central nervous system — including the brain. This can have serious consequences, including cancer or death.
Per OSHA requirements, employers have a legal obligation to remove preventable workplace hazards under the General Duty Clause. While OSHA issues no fixed-in-stone standards for hazards due to poor indoor air quality, for example, failing to take measures to improve can still result in an OSHA citation.
Beyond OSHA compliance, employers should consider the high cost factor involved in training new staff members. Employee retention costs far less in both time and money than continually bringing in new recruits.
Research also shows that converting to greener practices improves the perception employees have of their position. Satisfied employees work harder, produce more and stay committed to their employer.
Regardless of the size of your organization or the breadth of your budget, you can take simple steps to help make your workplace more environmentally sound. Here are a few to try:
Our personal health and the health of our planet intertwine. Taking action to establish an environmentally-friendly atmosphere in your office keeps your employees healthy and productive. By switching to greener workplace policies, your business will enjoy improved morale, attendance and performance.