7 Ways to Save Energy in the Home Office
Working from home, remote employees have saved many hours in commuting time and thousands of dollars in gas, car repairs and other expenses incurred by working from a corporate office. But, on the flip side, working from home means costs increase in other areas.
Think about it… now more than ever, remote employees are plugged into their computers, monitors, phones, printers and other necessary equipment, drastically increasing home power consumption. A Time Magazine article reported that recent research found that remote workers saw an average increase of $40-$50 per month in energy costs. That’s not surprising considering the number of devices that we have for work and personal use:
- Cell phone and computer chargers
- Wifi boosters & extenders
The good news is, there are simple things that can be done to decrease home energy costs when working with modern workplace technology in the home. Follow these seven methods to reduce energy consumption in your home office without affecting your productivity.
- Choose the right lighting. According to the U.S. Department of Energy lighting accounts for almost 15% of an average home’s electricity use. There are several steps you can take to control energy costs when it comes to lighting:
- Install LED bulbs
- Rely on natural light
- Use task lighting
- Unplug or shutdown equipment. Did you know that even when devices are not being used, they are still consuming power if they’re plugged into the wall? When you’re not using equipment such as chargers, printers or TVs, unplug them from the outlet. Another option is to plug your devices into a power strip so you can easily flip the switch to turn off the power to all of these at once.When you’re not using the computer, go ahead and shut it down. Shutting down a computer is not only good for your mental health (we all need to remember to “unplug” during the day), but it’s good for the computer’s health too. Turning the computer off helps extend its lifespan and may help improve its overall performance
- Use the battery. How often do you unplug and use the battery power on computers, tablets, and mobile phones when working at home? It’s actually good to unplug devices from the charger and let the battery drain. Leaving a device plugged into the charger continuously can eventually degrade the battery.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® rating. Energy Star is a symbol used and backed by the US government to identify energy efficient products that protect the climate while also improving air quality and protecting public health. Energy Star products, including computers, printers, phones, monitors and more, use less energy than standard models and save users money on energy costs.
- Adjust the computer’s settings. It’s common for people to think that computers don’t use much energy. That’s a myth. Of all the office equipment used, computers use the most energy; however, there are variables that affect the amount of energy used through. Running Microsoft Word, for example, doesn’t use as much energy as running a video game. Additionally, a laptop computer uses about 80% less energy than a desktop unit.
To lessen a computer’s overall energy consumption, adjustments can be made in the computer settings to dim the brightness, switch to standby mode after a short time, and turn down the volume.
- Control the thermostat. Working in a home office offers the benefit of maintaining an optimal temperature. t. It’s important to remember that running office equipment such as computers and printers produces additional heat.In warmer weather, instead of adjusting the air conditioner to make it cooler, wear shorts and a T-shirt. In the winter, office equipment will warm up an area slightly, but keep the heat turned down and put on some sweats. One of the best perks of working remotely is you can dress comfortably and save money at the same time.
- Efficient time management. This method of reducing energy costs may not be obvious at first, but effective time management can reduce the number of hours you’re using computers, monitors, printers and other office equipment. Freeing up the hours you spend in your office means that you’ve unplugged from work and your devices should unplug as well. So efficient time management saves you time and money.
Your company’s managed service provider (MSP) can provide suggestions on energy-efficient equipment and set up systems to use as little energy as possible.
Visual Edge specializes in managed IT services and security, cloud computing, and print/copy solutions for businesses across the U.S., including remote offices. The company has more than 30 years of technology service with a national network of expert engineers. Request your no-obligation assessment today and get a free dark web analysis.