Earth Notes: On Office Comfort and Energy Efficiency

Sweating it out or shivering 9 to 5? Small business and home office tips: get comfortable, save money, cut carbon!
fan

Keep a lid on unnecessary sweats and chills outside the boardroom...

In winter don't be tempted to turn equipment on just to thaw the office; using your building's dedicated heating system will be cheaper and should be more effective too. Not everyone realises it but electricity and heat are both forms of energy; use the right one for the right job!

There are simple things that you can do to save money and keep your cool. Especially in summer, using equipment efficiently and turning off gadgets that you don't need will save the pennies and reduce overheating.

Many of us will have experienced passive-aggressive battles in the office where someone wants to wear a level of clothing more appropriate for the beach, demands the heat be turned up, and forces the rest of us to swelter year round, or indeed always comes in dressed for Svalbard forcing the rest of us to shiver when the air-con is cranked to max. Everyone will be much more comfortable with seasonally approriate clothing and a light hand on the air-con. That's the sort of battle management should help resolve, while saving money and tempers...

Winter

Avoid your fingers freezing to the desk...

You know what makes building managers cry? Electric space heaters plugged in under desks. Not only might they overload circuits only meant for computers, especially those meant to stay running though a power cut (yes, I've seen it happen), but they are a fire-hazard and inefficient. Try and find another solution, maybe as simple as a raised footrest if the floor is cold!

Summer

Some ideas to beat the office heat...