While some businesses have turned to drastic measures like layoffs to offload financial burdens, engineers are pointing to a more sustainable method of cutting costs.
Achieving energy efficiency could be key to bringing down building expenses by slashing utility bills and saving energy.
According to a JLL report, reducing consumption can aid businesses struggling with inflation. However, with workers recently returning to the office, “running the system at lower intensity” could have a negative impact on their experience.
“[It’s] a tricky time to try and reduce costs while simultaneously keeping employees – who just recently got back to the office on a regular basis – happy and productive,” said Hannah Dwyer, head of work dynamics research and strategy at JLL EMEA. “Offices are busier now than at any stage since the COVID-19 pandemic.”
That’s why operating offices with agility and purpose will be critical moving forward.
For instance, if a portion of the office is going unused for the day, companies can make sure that lights or AC units are shut off or set on a timer, so they are not unnecessarily running throughout the day.
“Appliances kept on constant standby like ‘zip’ water boilers and vending machines should have timer controls installed so they operate only during occupied hours,” suggests Shane Betts, Head of Corporate Business at Integral, the building services firm for JLL.
Although identifying exactly how and when the office is being used may become more difficult in the hybrid work era, building owners can utilize sensor-driven technology to gain better insight.
Not only does this track when peak office usage is occurring and limit energy consumption as needed, but sensors allow companies to better understand what the needs of their employees are within the space.