The OnePoll survey, which was commissioned by office productivity and efficiency suppliers, Rexel, revealed a surprising discrepancy in people’s attitudes to energy consumption between work and home, with the vast majority of respondents stating that they aren’t as energy conscious at work as they are when at home.
This ‘split personality’ attitude to energy usage is further established when you take into account people’s stance on wasted energy. According to the survey, only 43% of British workers are concerned about wasting energy in the office, compared to 70% at home. This demonstrates a worrying lack of concern for superfluous energy use in the workplace, something which could lead to higher business energy bills and potentially tarnish a company’s environmental credentials.
Take a closer look at the survey data, and it becomes apparent that it’s the common, daily energy drains such as lighting, heating and charging electronic devices which make all the difference between people’s approach to energy use between work and home.
For example, the survey shows that 93% of people take an active approach to making sure lights are switched off when at home, whilst only 60% are likely to flick the switch at work. Many people also admitted to charging one or more personal devices at work, with around a third stating that they choose to charge electronics at the office rather than using energy at home.
Given the continued rise in the cost of domestic energy bills, coupled with an increasing awareness of climate change, has led to greater concern for energy consumption among the majority of UK households; the massive discrepancy between people’s attitudes to energy use in the workplace as opposed to the home is unanticipated. This is certainly worrying from a business perspective — particularly for companies in the process of improving their overall energy consumption.
This is because the average office worker spends around 40 hours in work per week, which, from a nationwide perspective, means that a massive amount of energy is being wasted by improper energy use. If the UK is to meet its emissions targets by 2050, the disconnect between using energy in the home and workplace must be tackled head on, with workers better educated on the benefits and necessity of more conscientious energy use.
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From a business perspective, there are a number of things you can do to educate and inform employees on the importance of proper energy use. At Gazprom Energy, we previously published an article on how to engage employees to help save energy. The guide contains practical help and tips on how to encourage greater energy efficiency in the workplace, with employee incentives, greater staff involvement and a designated energy champion being integral to a more engaged and energy efficient working environment.
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