Companies are switching to hybrid work models to cater to employees who prefer working from home. However, returning them to the office full-time poses a problem in what is now called “The Great Resistance.”
A new study revealed that creating eco-friendly human resource management policies could attract workers to return to the office.
According to Dr Subha Parida of the University of South Australia, green office spaces with the proper human resource guidelines could help companies support their workers in making a safe return to the office. Doing so boosts workers’ wellbeing and the company’s bottom line.
Their research suggests that green HR management that nurtures green behaviours can lead to non-environment-related workplace benefits, such as more robust employee engagement, increased productivity, and higher job satisfaction.
The study suggests that employees occupying eco-friendly buildings score higher in cognitive function tests, are less ill, and score higher in sleep quality than non-green buildings.
Dr Parida said that green buildings and eco-friendly spaces are certified to decrease our negative impact on the environment. By extending green HR management policies beyond the building, workers will have a durable, accessible, liveable, healthy, and safe workplace.
Going green could also be an incentive for employees. Dr Parida said companies need to go beyond the trivial “perks” like free ice cream or breakfast to find a meaningful motivation that benefits everyone.
Dr Parida says eco-friendly buildings won’t be sustainable until HR managers proactively promote green environment-friendly behaviours.
Their study found that many employees don’t even know they work in a green building, meaning the spaces don’t function as intended.
Dr Parida said companies could invest in a perfect building using mathematics and design principles. Still, the building won’t be effective in real life unless people who use the space know to use it effectively.
Lack of training, support, and knowledge from leaders can slow down the performance of a green building. But green HR management can help address this. Dr Parida said it goes beyond reading the building instruction manual. Companies must introduce policies that build greater awareness and practices aligned with the needs of green buildings.
Green HR management practices produce an eco-friendly corporate culture that encourages workers to become sustainable. Environmental sustainability is critical as people strive to decrease carbon emissions worldwide. Companies that go green create an attractive space that boosts employees’ wellbeing and health.
“Employees might stay longer, feel more productive and be healthier because of it,” added Dr Parida.