Applicants Are Choosing Jobs Based on Eco-Friendliness

Against a backdrop of Extinction Rebellion protests, climate change awareness has never been stronger. And as many commuters were affected getting to work, opinions seem to be divided. But how many of us agree with XR’s message?

Commercial property agents sought to answer this. 1,644 UK office workers have been surveyed to gauge opinions on workplaces’ ‘green’ efforts.

What do Brits think about eco-friendly offices?

Firstly, respondents were asked to score their current office in terms of eco-friendliness. Shockingly, scores averaged at only 2.3 out of 5 (1 = not eco-friendly at all and 5 = very eco-friendly).

Not only that, but companies aren’t implementing enough eco incentives. When asked which features their office currently employs, all were under 50%.

Specifically, the most common are energy efficient utilities/devices, but only 47% of offices have them.

Other eco-friendly incentives that offices feature include:

  • Sustainable office stationary, materials and equipment (44%)
  • Office challenges and green policies (37%)
  • Eco-friendly office design and architectural features (29%)
  • Abundance of plant-life (23%)
  • Chemical-free washing/cleaning products (18%)
  • In-office sustainability team (11%)

Employees believe the design/architecture of an office is the most environmentally impactful. Most (33%) chose this as the area they think should be the most eco-friendly, followed by general mindset and all-round attitudes (28%), utilities and device (25%), and materials and supplies (14%).

Furthermore, energy efficient utilities/devices (79%) are the most preferred green office features, followed by:

  • Eco-friendly office design and architectural features (66%)
  • Office challenges and green policies (56%)
  • In-office sustainability team (38%)
  • Sustainable office stationary, materials and equipment (34%)
  • Abundance of plant-life (25%)
  • Chemical-free washing/cleaning products (17%)

The majority of office workers don’t believe enough is being done by their workplaces to combat climate change – 45% stated no, 24% yes, 19% said in some ways/places and 12% were unsure.

Finally, applicants accept job offers based on how eco-conscious the company is – 29% are very likely to consider a job position if there is a noticeable mindfulness of the environment. This is followed by:

  • Likely (22%)
  • Somewhat unlikely (17%)
  • Somewhat likely (15%)
  • Unlikely (8%)
  • Neither likely nor unlikely (5%)
  • Very unlikely (4%)

Speaking exclusively to Savoy Stewart, UK employees share their opinions on sustainability measures:

“I believe it’s everybody’s responsibility to make a change – we’re more impactful in numbers. I personally like incentives that allow people to see past the ‘inconvenience’ of being more environmentally-friendly, and I also think it’s vital that companies hold not only themselves responsible, but their suppliers. At Sleeping Giant Media, we’ve found that by having a dedicated green squad that focus time and energy into particular improvements, the company will naturally follow and integrate these as the norm.” – Shaun Staunton, Sleeping Giant Media.


“In this day and age, we should be working together to meet sustainability goals, and offices have so many greener alternatives than they used to. At First Mile, we have an office green team focused on implementing new initiatives to help us reduce our impact on the environment. We even have a swap shop cupboard where staff bring in pre-loved clothes and swap them with items that others have brought in!” – Joe Allen, CCO, First Mile.


“As offices house many people for a very large portion of the week, they have a massive impact. And just as important as the green initiatives is the trickle-down effect of, “if the company is trying to become more eco-friendly, perhaps I should too”. Unfortunately, though, there are many offices using ‘think before you print’ signatures and that’s it. The agency I work for is reducing single-use plastic and ordering milk in glass bottles from local farms, but I think one of the best incentives is the cycle to work scheme.” – Lou Crane, Digital PR and Outreach Manager, Evolved Search.


“It’s the ultimate responsibility of the employer to set the tone on sustainability. It costs to be environmentally conscientious, but we must be mindful about our impact. We champion buying once and buying right for office equipment. While initial costs for sustainable materials is more, they nearly always surpass their warranties. And if we applied that mindset to everything we purchased, we would have a lot less waste” – David Blood, Director, Love Your Workspace.


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