Hamilton Business Operations: Green Office Furniture Makes the Office Livelier
Not only is green office durable and attractive, one who buys this type of furniture is doing their part to protect the environment. So, what is green office furniture? This kind of furniture is functional furniture made from refurbished or recycled material, or products that do not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
The wood used in green office furniture has been screened to ensure that it has been harvested using sustainable practices. That is, the particular wood is quickly renewable, or that the logging technique is respectful of the environment, and that the lumber companies have sustainability policies in place. Greenguard is an organization that also evaluates the furniture in terms of indoor air quality.
The materials that stand up to this scrutiny are not only wood, but aluminum and steel used for the frames of furniture and other office pieces such as file cabinets and desks. Methods of recovering and reusing these metals have improved as demand for recyclables has increased. Fabrics may in fact be recycled soda or water bottles.
The first benefit is cleaner air in the office, whether you work from home or another location. VOCs are compounds that vaporize into the air under ordinary circumstances. These are compounds that result from the treatment and manufacturing process of many modern products. Wood preservatives are one source of VOCs in the home or office.
Other VOCs arise from carpets, upholstery, paints, stains and cleaning products. These substances are harmful to one's health. It has been estimated that the air inside a home or office building contains from two to five times the concentration of pollutants than outdoor air. Using green furniture can alleviate this indoor pollution. Some symptoms that have been observed in people working in unhealthy offices include irritability, drowsiness, increased sensitivity to chemicals, irritation of the eyes and nasal passages, dry skin, and difficulty concentrating. None of these symptoms help to make a productive workplace. They can lead to increased sick time and chronic illness.
Audubon House in New York performed a total retrofit of its offices a few years ago, using only green products. Employees there now are so comfortable that they arrive at work earlier, and often stay later. They are also keeping their desks neater.
Employees will find that they are not only more comfortable without the off-gassing from traditional office furnishings, but can take some pride in working for a company that is environmentally conscious - a good corporate citizen. Because consumers are becoming more aware of the steps we can all take to conserve and protect the planet's resources, it is encouraging to know that one's employer is also taking steps to go green.
Going green using office furniture means buying used furniture, or new furniture that has been manufactured with sustainability in mind. The green initiative often includes more efficient use of office equipment, more concern about recycling in the office, and purchasing decisions for office supplies and cleaning products. All of these green activities involve everyone in the organization and create a more productive working team.
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As you spend long hours at an office, having comfortable workstation office furniture is very important. While global office furniture offers multiple drawers, it helps to remain organized. Green office furniture also offers stability and interesting designs.