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Working from home, saving from home

10 energy-saving tips you can borrow from your workplace

If you’re still working from home during the pandemic, you’ve probably found yourself a place to work and got into an established routine. But what you might not have done is get out of that old work habit of assuming somebody else will take care of energy efficiency.

So since you’re now your own Office Manager and IT Department for the time being, here are 10 energy-saving tips you can try out at home.

  • 1

    Help your heating system to do its job: Keep furniture away from radiators and vents. If you're heating or cooling a space, make sure all the windows are closed. And if you’re lucky enough to have your own dedicated office at home, closing the door will not only give you privacy for calls, it’ll also keep the room warmer for longer and help your heating system work more efficiently.

  • 2

    Fine tune your thermostat: See if you’re comfortable with less heating or cooling at certain times of the day. If you turn down the heat for set periods each day after lunch, for example, you probably won’t even notice the change in temperature, but you will notice the savings. The recommended temperature for working from home is 20°C.

  • 3

    Use natural light: Natural light isn't just free, it's also good for everybody's health and mood. So whenever possible, set up your desk by a window, open the shades or blinds and take full advantage of it.

  • 4

    Turn off the lights in empty rooms: Kitchens, hallways and bathrooms are usually empty for most of the day, so don’t forget to turn the lights off when you go back to your desk.

  • 5

    Use smart power bars: Smart power bars reduce your power usage by shutting down devices that go into standby mode. So if you’re only using your work devices for 8 hours a day, make sure the other 16 are as efficient as possible.

  • 6

    Use energy saving features on office equipment: Energy saving modes on your devices and equipment generally use around 70% less energy than full power mode. And of course, if there are appliances and electronics that aren't being used, unplug them.

  • 7

    Let your screen sleep: Screensavers use the same amount of power as active screens. So set your computer to turn off the screen after a set period of inactivity.

  • 8

    Use a laptop if you can: Did you know that laptops typically use up to 80% less energy than a desktop computer? And don’t forget your tablet. If you can do some of your work using a tablet (like video calls, for instance) even better!

  • 9

    Use a phone where possible: And speaking of video calls, (see tip 8) they don’t use much power, but a phone call uses even less - and it’s far less stressful. So unless you really want to be a movie star, try limiting video wherever you can.

  • 10

    Power down when you go ‘home’: The 30 second commute from your desk to your sofa is a lot shorter than it used to be. So you’ve got plenty of extra time to remember to turn off your computer, speakers, monitors, printer, and lights when you’re done for the day.