Saturday, May 25, 2024

Technology businesses have a duty to help employees as well as themselves in energy crisis, says STX Next

Just as companies should support employee wellbeing in the workplace, now is the ideal time to extend this support further

After the seismic shock of the pandemic, families and individuals across Europe and beyond are grappling with a once-in-a-generation energy crisis. While businesses in the technology industry are rightfully taking steps to help safeguard their organisation’s future, there is also more they can do to help their employees cope during this time of financial hardship. This is according to STX Next.

In the short term, tech companies are putting a range of policies in place to reduce their energy expenditure. These include installing modern lighting solutions such as motion sensors and timers in offices, and expanding workplace practices such as green coding. However, Maciej Dziergwa, CEO of STX Next, believes that efforts should be made to help employees on a personal level, particularly those still frequently working from home.

Dziergwa said: “Some organisations have offered pay rises or one-off bonuses to employees to help them cope with higher bills and the impact of rampant inflation. These serve a short-term purpose, but helping employees to develop more permanent energy-saving habits will ensure they come out of this crisis in the best possible shape.

“In the immediate term, this means providing comprehensive guidance to workers on how they can minimise their energy usage at home without significantly impacting their wellbeing. After all, the rise of remote and hybrid working has given businesses more flexibility around energy costs than they had before the pandemic, so leaders should be figuring out how they can pass this flexibility to their employees too.

“Think of the methods you employ in the office to keep energy expenditure down, and spend some time figuring out how the same principles can be adapted for the home. Initiatives such as cycle-to-work schemes or simply the provision of bicycle parking at the office will also ensure employees spend less on fuel when not working from home.

“In the longer term, it’s crucial to lead by example and commit fully to sustainability and decarbonisation projects, all of which rely in some way on efficient use of energy to be successful. Sustainable companies can inspire their employees to make more conscious energy decisions at home, which will bring major benefits during this energy crisis and any others down the line.”

To really make strides in energy efficiency, Dziergwa believes that technology companies should consider the potential of AI and machine learning in this area.

He concluded: “Leveraging data, AI and machine learning capabilities can be instrumental in identifying areas where energy is being wasted and work out how to address issues. As discussed above, anything you do learn during this process can then be adapted into advice for remote workers to apply while at home. In a situation such as this, every little helps, so being prepared to think outside the box to help your employees will pay dividends.”

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