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Sustainability at work: 5 ways coworking spaces are leading the way

Hub Southern cross desks

Hub Australia

13th July 2022

5 min. read

One of the biggest challenges faced by traditional commercial buildings is creating an office that is sustainable. With the increased pressure of the current climate crisis and the need for a workspace that has a positive impact on employee wellbeing, many businesses are now turning to workspace providers that value sustainable design. 

That’s where coworking and flexible workspaces come in. 

It can be hard knowing how to implement the right sustainability practices at work, and liaising with the right suppliers, organisations, and people that will help you create the ideal ‘green’ office is a hefty task. For many coworking providers, this is their bread and butter, and they have the right skillsets, stakeholder engagement, and networks to create sustainable office solutions that are genuinely impact-driven. The result? A happy planet, and happy (and healthy) employees. 

Here’s how many coworking providers make sure they’re the top choice when it comes to sustainability in the workplace. 

They make the most of natural light

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many offices don’t make use of the ever-abundant resource that is sunlight. 

In the construction phase, many coworking providers implement sustainable office solutions, utilising north-facing areas, ceiling-to-floor windows, and plenty of glass to let the optimum amount of natural light in. This means they rely less on using power to artificially light a space, reducing their carbon footprint (and yours!). They also apply sustainable office design, both from an aesthetic and environmental perspective, using shiny surfaces, light-coloured reflective flooring, and light and bright interiors throughout. 

Natural light in a workspace doesn’t just do wonders for the environment, though. An abundance of studies have found that natural light makes happier, healthier, and more energised employees. It’s no wonder that 78% of employees say that access to natural light improves their wellbeing. 

They make ‘green’ commuting easy

A lot of consideration has gone into where most major city-based coworking spaces are located, and it’s not just because of convenience. Coworking spaces tend to be thoughtfully placed to make ‘green’ commuting easy—that is, commuting via bike or foot—being located near bike paths, thoroughfares, and easy-to-get-to routes.

What’s more, their amenities are built to support bike commuting, with state-of-the-art end of trips facilities including showers, lockers, and even hairdryers, as well as secure bike storage and bike repair kits. Yes, they’ve really thought of it all when it comes to creating a sustainable workspace experience. 

Your carbon emissions are offset 

Like many other businesses—including airlines, hotels, and even online retailers—carbon offsets are important to coworking providers. Offsetting carbon emissions in a home office setting can be hard to navigate, and many traditional commercial offices simply don’t have the resources or expertise to track the offsets of their occupying businesses.

Coworking providers have the unique advantage of being in close contact with their business community, putting them in the ideal place of being able to monitor carbon footprints with regular surveys and consistently tracked data. The result? All carbon emissions created by coworking space staff and members are offset, including emissions when commuting to and from work. 

rooftop cafe with people working

They undergo and commit to sustainable audits and certifications

Coworking providers take their sustainability practices one step further, committing to globally-recognised certifications and audits to support their impact goals. Certifications such as B Corp, carbon neutral by Climate Active, and WELL Health-Safety are all common certifications seen in the coworking and flexible workspace industry. They all do their bit in communicating to coworking communities that they are working from a space that meets the highest global standards of social and environmental performance, and health and safety. 

They’re dedicated to creating the best workplace experience  

Above all else, coworking spaces exist to provide a space for businesses to carry out their best work. This mission is weaved into every element of operations at a coworking space, given it’s clear that sustainability and employee health and wellbeing go hand-in-hand. 

Unlike their traditional office stock counterparts, coworking spaces are built for optimising the workplace experience of their members, and this includes looking out for the communities and surrounding environments of where their members call home.

Find out more about Hub Australia’s sustainability practices.