The modern office has changed enormously since the beginning of the century. Employees have gained more freedom, companies started to compete with benefits in addition to salary, and employee involvement became increasingly important.
Then came the COVID-19 global pandemic, and orders to work from home became the new norm for businesses big or small. However, one change stood out the most: more employees demand an employer that takes action against the climate crisis.
During this period of working from home, electric mobility has become a critical tool in building a sustainable future in the eyes of many. As a result, the number of electric cars has increased exponentially in recent months and is expected to continue to do so. However, the rise of electric vehicles (EVs) has overshot current charging infrastructure—creating an increased need for charging facilities to meet this growing demand.
In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the evolution of the modern sustainable office, why more companies are investing in charging stations as a benefit of employment, and how employers can benefit from this themselves.
More sustainable and carbon-efficient offices
Meaningful action on sustainability has become a key expectation from employees and is at no surprise with environmental challenges being felt on every continent. In fact, according to one survey, 83 percent of millennial workers would be loyal towards a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues. To address this, more and more businesses are beginning to prioritise sustainable initiatives in order to boost employee satisfaction.
One of the most obvious places to address this issue is at the office where employees spend the majority of their working lives. Even before the pandemic, sustainable offices were popping up all over to reflect companies environmental awareness.
Following on from popular concepts such as reduce, reuse, recycle, the focus for companies has also shifted towards sustainability and has brought greater emphasis on energy efficiency, circular economy, and biodiversity in the construction of new office buildings.
An example of this is the new Deloitte office in Amsterdam. The Edge, as it’s called, is energy positive, which means it produces more energy than it consumes. It also uses collected rainwater to flush toilets and water its gardens, and integrates numerous smart and sustainable technologies to create adaptable and intelligent work spaces. The building, hailed as one of the world’s greenest office buildings, was awarded the highest BREEAM accreditation score ever.
Yet, applying sustainability principles does not stop at the design and construction of offices. Inside modern offices, employers are turning their attention to creating a sustainable healthy workplace from the inside, with greener spaces, natural ventilation, insulation and lighting. These initiatives not only have a positive impact on the environment, but also ensure healthier and more productive employees.
Not too long ago, working from home was barely negotiable and working at the office was desirable at many companies, but now it is a luxury. Today, employees want to return to the office when it adds something for them.
This uptake in electric vehicles is increasing due to a number of factors, including the fall in the price of lithium-ion batteries and EVs in general, an increase in range, lower costs for fuel and maintenance, and a host of government incentives.
As the EV market continues to accelerate, the likelihood that your employees are either considering, or even already driving an EV increases.
Charging stations can attract and retain employees
With the growing environmental concerns of employees and pressure on employers mounting, forward-thinking workplaces are looking to EV charging stations as a potential solution.
EV charging stations attract and retain new talent as, despite the electric mobility transition accelerating, public EV charging infrastructure hasn’t kept up the pace. Many employees who live in densely urban areas don't have the option to charge at home and are therefore looking to workplaces as a charging destination.
According to our own research, 40 percent of European EV drivers already charge their vehicle at work, and a further 20 percent indicate that they would like the option to do so. The results of the study, conducted in collaboration with Ipsos, suggests that companies that offer charging stations and electric cars for employees make themselves attractive to new talent.
Companies are electrifying their fleet
Business fleets are a key player in the transition to electric mobility and will, in turn, drive more private consumers to EVs. With almost two thirds of all new cars in Europe bought by private companies, businesses have the power to shape the direction of the EV market. In other words, if employees don’t decide it themselves, businesses may make the decisions for them.
According to an EY study, “fleet electrification should lead the way and will make the biggest and fastest contribution to the decarbonisation of road transport.” This creates significant opportunities for businesses to get ahead in the electric mobility ecosystem.
With more and more employees of large companies having electric experiences in company vehicles, this “new normal” will further influence employees attitudes and demands. Furthermore, by purchasing EVs first, businesses are driving forward economies of scale that can drive the prices down and make electric vehicles affordable for everyone.
Charging stations have a positive influence on the reputation of your office
Whether you are the owner or resident, a real estate agent or renting the office building, charging stations help to improve the reputation of your office and thus become a more attractive place to work.
Charging stations can be an additional source of income
Charging stations not only ensure a sustainable reputation. Many real estate companies see charging stations as an entirely new source of income. By making the charging stations publicly accessible, companies can increase their revenues, attract new customers and sell additional products or services on location.
Companies can, among other things, determine who has access to the charging stations and set their own charging rates. For example, you can charge everyone the same rate or have your employees pay less at all or not at all.