Hot on the heels of London Craft Week, we look at how you can get handy by indulging in some office based up-cycling. In these more eco-conscious times, we are all trying to live in a more sustainable way. So the office is no different. Single use items are fast becoming inappropriate. Big brands are coming under fire for failing to tackle issues like packaging and waste. When you are planning an office refit, then, what role does waste play and how can you find ways to re-purpose very basic items?
The Business of Up-cycling
Of course there is a commercial industry entirely centred around up-cycling. Designer office chairs and desks are manufactured from plastic bottles, coffee cups and DVDs. If sustainability is central to your corporate identity, then this is certainly worth considering as part of an office refit. As long as your budget can accommodate, that is. The technology and labour required to manufacture furniture from preexisting products is greater than manufacturing from raw materials. So the cost follows suit.
Incorporate Bespoke Furniture
The great thing about commissioning bespoke office furniture as part of an office refit is that it can work around any existing elements of your office that you wish to retain. Purpose built office facilities such as reception desks and storage systems utilise the space to its maximum. In this way, your bespoke furniture is less likely to become redundant and will enjoy a longer useful life. This is great for your office sustainability!
So what about storage that you’d like to retain. From desks to filing systems, your furniture may be perfectly serviceable, but is no longer in keeping with your office decor concept. This area is where paint really comes into its own. Desk sections can be refinished in colour schemes that bring them in line with your office branding. Low rise storage or filing facilities can be hidden under customised surfaces that bring a new aesthetic to the same old reliable functionality underneath.
Up-cycling doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, though. So many offices accumulate business texts. From lengthy annual reports to old-style encyclopaedia, books are something that are easy for a business to hoard. This is probably because we all feel a bit guilty about throwing a book away. Even if it’s an out of date tome that is irrelevant to our current business needs! So why not tackle ergonomics at the same time and re-purpose these items to lift your monitor to eye level. Avoid looking messy by selecting the most prestigious or colourful spines!
Jam Jar Chic
On the much smaller scale, why not encourage staff to organise their personal desk paraphernalia using household items. Colleagues can contribute their old jam jars for an office desk up-cycling project. You can even turn it into an office team building initiative. Providing an outlet for creativity is a great way to maintain engagement within an organisation.
Share the Waste
To this end, then, what about colleagues who regularly craft or upcycle in their spare time? When you’re undertaking a full office refit, first offer up furniture and fittings that are being discarded to staff. It’s far better than going to landfill and can be a great perk for staff who love a project. Beyond this, ensure that your furniture waste is disposed of responsibly to an organisation that will recycle the items.
If your business prioritises sustainability and seeks to reduce waste, choosing a decorator can be hard. You want to ensure that your contractor shares your priorities. Really, this comes down to how collaboratively your decorator is willing to work. At HL Decorating, we prioritise our clients’ concerns and work with them closely. In this way, you can be confident that your office refit will allow you to up-cycle where you can!