This April 22 marks the 45th annual Earth Day. As the day's official website points out, Earth Day was the launch pad for the environmental movement. It's a day that every citizen of this world can not only recognize, but actively participate in.Recycling symbol made from circuit boards

After all, you don't need to be developing the next sustainable fuel source in order to make a positive environmental impact. While governments and companies have big roles to play, much of our global well-being rests in our hands. We can each look for ways to produce less trash, drive less, or get involved in community recycling. These simple steps are things we can do on as individuals to quickly create a ripple effect of positive change.

As experts in unified communications (UC) and business phone systems, here are our recommendations for how to use office technology to help the environment with our…


10 ways to go green at the office

1. Less paperwork: The relationship between paper and the office goes way back. And these days, there is still a whole lot of paper wasting going on. The typical office worker, for instance, eats up approximately 10,000 pieces of paper a year. For offices with legacy communications systems, a huge chunk of the paper used will go toward communications-based tasks. Need to schedule a meeting at headquarters? Fax them your availability! Have a massive report you need fact-checked? Send it to that freelance copy editor via first class mail! With solutions like click to email and chat, situations like these can be totally digitized with UC, saving time and more importantly, paper.

2. Less traveling: Sure, we all like the occasional business trip, but why travel when it is not necessary? Too many organizations send workers on trips that could be conducted via UC-enabled tech like HD Video Collaboration. And as a bonus, limiting business trips not only saves your company from polluting with needless travel, it also saves your staff members from eating out of hotel vending machines

3. Employees less likely to gas guzzle: It’s common knowledge that UC saves companies time - but what might be surprising is just how much. A well-deployed UC resource saves each employee almost two hours a day. Now we don't know about you, but the times we drive are the moments when we feel in a rush. What do we do now that we have two more hours in the day? Bike to and from work, of course. 

4. Healthier eating: The extra time employees have thanks to UC will provide them that vital 30-minute pre-work window to prepare a bagged lunch. But wait, doesn't that have to do with self-betterment and not environmental enhancement? Actually, it tackles both. When people eat healthier, they indulge less in processed foods that come in environmentally detrimental packaging. Dining on homemade PB&J out of a recyclable bag creates no waste. The same cannot be said of that Snickers wrapper.

5. Say goodbye to that wasteful fax machine! Go paperless.

6. Also, bid farewell to all the paper you were wasting sending loads of business mailWith UC, that can all happen electronically.

7. Lower electricity use: Not using UC ends up wasting the average business a collective 49,660 hours per year spread across all employees. That's all time where the lights have to be on. Hello, amped up electric bill and sad planet. And when you do need lights, avoid waste installing motion sensors to turn off lights, like the Belkin WeMo line. A lot of the advances in this area are geared at home automation, which makes them easy to install and often better on the budget. We won’t tell.

8. Reduce AC use: All of those hours saved will also be hours your company doesn't have to spend funneling icy air throughout the office. While AC feels great, it's nobody's idea of an environmentally helpful technology. Managing the temp with smart thermostats like the Nest will reduce your office's footprint. 

9. Get involved: The less stressed people are about their personal tasks, the more they can think beyond themselves. When you give your employees an extra two hours a day by using UC, you free up their lives to point where they'll be happier. That‘s more time for sleep and more time to make other healthy choices. Once the self-improvement kicks in, your staffers will inevitably look for ways to improve the world around them, like join the local environmental group or implement an office-wide sustainability drive.

10. Improve overall efficiency: A successful person is arguably someone who has most aspects of his or her life in order. This sense of order leads to a productivity that ensures optimal success. Businesses work the same way. If things like chatting, emailing, video conferencing and mobility become seamless, the business as a whole will benefit from elevated efficiency across the board - and this includes environmental efficiency.

So there you have it. Ten ways office technology – including UC – paves the road for a greener business. Of course, it doesn't hurt that UC will also help your business do better work too. What's stopping your company from going green with UC? 

Communications Trends