Switched-on green offices create happier workers

Switched-on green offices create happier workers

Businesses investing in green office spaces as part of a nation-wide energy efficiency program, CitySwitch, say the changes they are putting in place are making their staff happier and more productive.

CitySwitch, which began in Sydney in 2005 and went national in 2008, is a growing national partnership between business, state and local government across Australia. The program recently signed-up its 500th member and now represents 12 per cent of all Australia’s city centre office space.

The 500th member is the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD). Recent signatories from NSW include the State Library of NSW, Echo Entertainment Group and Fujitsu.

CitySwitch national program manager, Esther Bailey, said the program works with businesses committed to making a positive impact on the environment through simple changes to waste and energy efficiency.

“We are very proud to welcome our 500th CitySwitch member,” Ms Bailey said.

“Our members are reducing carbon emissions, and workers report they are experiencing increased job satisfaction through a healthier work environment. Many of our members have reported to us that great work spaces reduce sick days, staff turnover, costs, and improve productivity.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said CitySwitch commits organisations to changes that deliver long-term environmental benefits.

“Cities use over two thirds of the world’s energy and emit more than 70 per cent of emissions, so it is action in cities that provides us with the greatest opportunity for deep cuts in emissions,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Businesses have long recognised that improving energy efficiency translates into saving money on costly energy bills. The results from our CitySwitch members prove that you can reduce carbon emissions and make savings at the same time.”

WWF-Australia is a CitySwitch member and People and Organisation Development Director, Kimberly Dixon said office features such as natural light, good ventilation and clean, fresh air are shown to improve the health and happiness of employees in these spaces.

“Green office spaces can help optimise the people as well as the space, and our workers have reported they feel happy in their new environment and are energised by the design attributes,” Ms Dixon said.

“Natural light, an open plan layout with lots of plants, standing desks and informal meeting places all promote a collaborative team environment, encouraging movement and promote healthy work practices.”

The Goodman Group is committed to green building practices and has been a CitySwitch member since 2007. It relocated 180 staff in the Sydney office to a new sustainable building with improved air quality and increased use of natural light.

A post-relocation survey of staff showed that 93 per cent of staff reported they felt a sense of pride in the new workplace. Goodman also reduced its energy consumption by nearly half from its previous tenancy.

For more information go to: cityswitch.net.au

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Claire Thompson, phone 0408 414 376 or email cthompson1@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jonathon Larkin on 0477 310 149 or email jlarkin@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au