Everything about working at a desk, including the desk itself, can be optimized to make sure that employees aren’t wasting electricity. The Department of Energy has guidelines on its website designed to help its own desk-based employees make the most out of their surroundings and keeps costs low. These include simple things that practically anyone sitting at a desk can do, but are especially important for the DoE as they could set a trend for government employees.

According to the site, a key step is to monitor all desktop computers and appliances within reach of the desk and make sure they aren’t drawing extra amounts of energy when not in use. Turning off power strips when devices are not in use ensures that no extra electricity is being used outside of work hours. If there is a small light indicator on the power strip to indicate when it is turned on, an employee can easily verify whether or not one of these is in use by checking it.

Other electronics that are important for everyday work functions and within easy reach of the desk can be routinely switched off. Employees can get in the habit of doing this before they leave or as they are finishing up their work, so it becomes second nature. They can also avoid keeping non-essential items, like mini-refrigerators, under the desk.

Businesses should consider used office workstations to help keep their carbon footprints small, because doing so recycles pre-existing material and saves businesses the cost of having to find new desks for their office. Putting an emphasis on desks made of recyclable or otherwise environmentally-friendly material sets the bar high for green use.

Find out more about how reusing materials helps earn companies energy credits by visiting the LEED Guidelines section of our website.