There’s no doubt that there are more eco-conscious and sustainable ways for us to live and work as humans. Things like using less plastic and opting for public transportation are good steps. Let’s consider some sustainable strategies that small businesses can adopt that leave a smaller carbon footprint.
Coworking is one of them.
How is Coworking Sustainable?
Coworking isn’t just a cool trend or (super) fun way to work. It’s environmentally friendly and supports a greener future for small businesses, in a few significant ways:
1. Coworking saves on resources, because you’re sharing them.
From office supplies, to podcast equipment, to workspace, coworking gives entrepreneurs and businesses a solution that conserves resources and energy.
“Improving space efficiency (e.g. by sharing indoor space) is a key strategy to meet simultaneously the future demand for facilities in cities. It also fulfills environmental objectives such as a reduction of climate change impact in the building sector,” according to recent research.
The commercial building industry is responsible for a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions. By using buildings more efficiently and sharing that space (like with coworking), this cuts down on energy usage.
2. Coworking gives people ways to cut down on their commute to the office.
Most coworking spaces are located strategically and in centralized locations, so that workers don’t have to travel as far from their homes just to get to the office.
In fact, in Asia and Europe, more coworking members get to their space by public bus or train, rather than their cars, cutting down on CO2 emissions.
3. Coworking helps to keep small businesses running, since they don’t have to spend on real estate.
One of the biggest sustainable benefits to coworking members is saving on cost. Instead of renting out, buying, or building an entire office, companies who cowork can enjoy the space with other small businesses. All without paying a hefty monthly lease payment or committing to a traditional, long-term commercial lease agreement. This helps to keep small businesses running for the long term. And while being able to right-size as business changes.
“Even mid-size companies to large corporations are turning to the model. While they often own or lease office space for the majority of their employees, they use shared workspaces for small teams and testing new partnerships,” according to USGBC.
The flexible hub-and-spoke work model is rapidly gaining popularity. Especially since the pandemic shut down many offices. “And without being tied to a rigid lease, businesses are able to scale and expand into other areas according to their needs,” according to the International Workplace Group.
Other Ways to Go Green: Atlanta Coworking
The coworking movement has inspired many businesses to operate more sustainably. Alkaloid Networks gives our members a other ways to go green.
- We offer fresh fruits from nearby farmers markets. This gives our members options for a healthy snack, while supporting the local economy and farmers in the area. The coffee here at Alkaloid is also locally sourced from Firelight Coffee Roasters and Banjo Coffee.
- Alkaloid is adjacent to the Eastside Atlanta BeltLine, which offers a greener way for members to commute. That can be on foot, scooter, or bike. Eventually the city will repurpose the unused rail lines and develop a light rail system. “The Atlanta BeltLine has and always will be a project that is built with and for the people of Atlanta,” says Clyde A. Higgs, president and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “By prioritizing equity, affordable housing, and job creation, we strive to ensure our BeltLine communities and longtime residents thrive as we build out the transit, trails, and parks.”
- Coworking space design is often healthier for humans who work inside the space. At Alkaloid Networks, skylights help to deliver more natural light to the building. Outdoor patios offer members a way to access fresh air and sunlight. Coworking also prevents isolation and loneliness by offering plenty of ways to connect and collaborate with other members.
Supporting Sustainable Visions
Coworking supports small businesses, scaling startups, and the remote employees who need somewhere else (besides their kitchen table or bedroom) to work.
We’re now living in a “new normal,” after struggling through shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. Part of this shift is how we get our jobs done — instead of trying to set up an office in your garage, a coworking space gives remote employees and small business owners a way to focus and find success.
Coworking is a greener way to do business, because it helps you conserve resources and share space with other coworking members. But it’s also more sustainable: the built-in community that you’ll find in a space like Alkaloid Networks helps companies stay in business longer and supports the local economy.
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