We do business to make money, but as companies grow, so do their expenses. Bigger buildings, more people, and all those resources to keep everything running can get expensive. Although your employees love to hear about rising profits, they might be so concerned that they are watching how they use the company’s resources. Unfortunately, people often become wasteful in an office environment—even those who are frugal at home. Since we know it happens, it is good to have strategies to reduce office waste without becoming Ebenezer Scrooge, of course. Here are a few ways to get ahead of the problem.
- Printing: Some company’s printing expenses can be as high as ten percent of their office expenses. Printers can use up a lot of costly ink. And people can be frivolous with the use of the resources. One of the best ways to lower printing costs is to hire managed printing services. They will help you analyze the devices you use, the software, and the usage patterns. Money can often be saved by changing to a different machine, like laser printing for monochrome output, covering most print needs. Less expensive inks and other supplies will also be available. Every little bit helps.
- Lighting: electricity is always a big bill in an office, and one day you can lower it by changing the kind of lighting you have. LED lighting uses much less energy, and it is also amenable to being part of a smart lighting solution. Imagine if your lights would turn themselves off when activity ceases. But even without changing the lighting, you should make policies about turning off lights for empty rooms.
- Supplies: Office supplies are often wasted and frequently stolen. Some employees feel it’s their right to take stuff home. One way to avoid the problem is to have all the supplies, including cleaning supplies, located in a central location. It is even better to have it locked and someone in charge of supplies, but you might get some resistance with that policy.
- Digitize: Making digital copies costs nothing, so many things in an office can be emailed and shared on phones instead of being printed. Digitizing your files is helpful in many ways, including making more of the office available to remote workers. With so many choices for secure cloud-based operations, your copy machine should be almost out of a job.
- Turn off the Computers: many people don’t know that computers use a lot of energy when they aren’t in use. Employees should be in the habit of turning off computers when they are done for the day; the exception would be computers operating as servers or being used for some remote operation.
It is hard enough to make a profit these days without paying for unnecessary wastage. It is essential to create an awareness of office waste and motivate people to be more careful with supplies and resources. It would help if you emphasized global warming and inflation. Mostly it is common sense, like turning things off when you don’t need them. Treating the office as a microcosm of the earth is an excellent way to look at conservation.