Working sustainably in the home office

Sustainability is a top priority at Denttabs! As a team, we want to contribute to a sustainable society, whether in the office or home office. We at Denttabs have learned a lot through Corona and the associated new structures. We have had to adapt many of our processes so that everyone can work "hand in hand" and our operations can continue to run smoothly - from home.

However, we didn't want to ignore sustainability, so our Sustainability Manager Nele took on the question of how we can live up to our conviction of being a sustainable company even in the home office. She researched important tips for our team to quickly implement in your home office to stay as sustainable as possible and conserve resources.
All of the tips are Corona-independent and some of them can also be applied in the regular office. We want to share these tips with you and maybe you have collected more good ideas for sustainable working at home in the last months, implemented them with your team and would like to share them with our community and us in the comments.

Tip 1: Avoid tropical climates in the living space 

Temperatures are currently climbing again towards Spring, which makes heating almost unnecessary. In a sustainable home office, however, heating or air conditioning are often decisive factors. Rooms that are not actively used should not be continuously heated or cooled. If you concentrate on your office area during the day, you can save up to four times as much CO2.

Tip 2: Onion look instead of heating

Dress warmly! If you are freezing, put thin layers on top of each other instead of turning up the heat. This saves electricity and gas and also saves you money. Make yourself comfortable with the onion look. Of course, you should not freeze!

Tip 3: Cool down in the mornings

In Germany, we are slowly moving towards summer, and it is possible for the time in the home office to be extended until then. To avoid using the fan and still keep your apartment comfortable on particularly hot days, it is worth getting up very early and opening the windows properly in the morning and in the evening. This ensures a pleasantly cool indoor climate in the sustainable home office. And when there is no need to go to the office, swap your warm suit for a light shirt.

Tip 4: Use a sustainable search engine

Set up a sustainable search engine. Did you know that an average Google search request leads to the same power consumption as a 4-watt energy-saving lamp within an hour? There are now other great alternatives, such as Ecosia.

Tip 5: What is not in use does not have to be plugged in

Hands up if you have constantly connected electronic devices to the socket. Power supplies consume electricity even when they are not in active use (up to 3 W/hour). If you unplug them when not in use, you save energy and extend the life of the power supply and thus reduce the amount of electronic waste.

Tip 6: Charge and dispose of batteries correctly!

Prolonged use of a battery protects important raw materials and, at the same time, avoids a higher volume of electronic waste. Therefore, it is always advisable to find out from your respective manufacturer of home office devices about the correct care and optimal charging of batteries. The disposal of batteries also plays a crucial role in the topic of sustainability. Batteries contain valuable raw materials that are often mined under environmentally harmful conditions. Older laptops etc., can be returned to the manufacturer – this sometimes even gives you a discount when buying a new device – or you can hand them into an appropriate recycling center.

Tip 7: Say hello to energy-saving mode

Your battery lasts longer when the device settings are in energy-saving mode. You can easily set that on your laptop and mobile phone, and this saves electricity and battery life.

Tip 8: Less bright is also fine

Did you know that the lighting of your display is the highest in terms of the total power consumption of your device? If it doesn’t restrict you, you can turn the lights down a bit and your battery will last a little longer. By the way, many laptops do this automatically and adapt to the environment's lighting conditions – which is actually quite good for the eyes as well.

Tip 9: Audio calls consume less data

Since most of the team at Denttabs moved to their home offices, we have switched to online meetings to exchange ideas. Fun fact: a video call uses about four times as much data as an audio call. Switching off the camera saves a lot of data transfer and thus electricity.

Tip 10: Use green electricity!

Regardless of the home office or not, it makes sense and is environmentally friendly to switch to an ecological-social electricity/gas provider. This can be done with just a few clicks and is usually cheaper than conventional electricity/gas. With the purchase of green electricity, you directly support the expansion of renewable energies.

Tip 11: Switch off your devices when you finish working

Switch off your laptop/tablet after your working day instead of leaving it in standby mode. You can save almost 0.2 kWh or 91 g CO2per device. Calculated to a monthly or yearly savings, even small amounts of electricity make a huge difference.

Tip 9: Audio calls consume less data

Since most of the team at Denttabs moved to their home offices, we have switched to online meetings to exchange ideas. Fun fact: a video call uses about four times as much data as an audio call. Switching off the camera saves a lot of data transfer and thus electricity.

Tip 10: Use green electricity!

The most important advice from us:

Create a working atmosphere in which you feel comfortable. Sustainability is not a minor issue at this particular time, but we also know how difficult it is sometimes to concentrate on your work right now when the world is upside down. That is why it is all the more important that you get used to a good home office routine and create a relaxed and motivating environment in which you enjoy working. Stay focused and exchange ideas with colleagues and friends.

We can make it through this time together!

#zerowaste greetings from your Denttabs team

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