Doing business sustainably and working: 4 tips for companies


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More and more often there are voices that question the entire capitalist economic system in terms of sustainability: And not just any leftists, but renowned economists who call for an economy without growth, one steady state economy, which is better for people and the environment.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.

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Only artificial growth helps the economy?

In fact, our economic growth is actually one that has been artificially created: namely, by providing products with a planned obsolescence, with an artificial expiration date, since the 20s of the last century, so that we Consumers were forced to buy again as soon as possible. The motto is: throw away instead of repair.

It does not have to be: there are 80 years old light bulbs that still work today. The fact that their lifespan is much shorter today is due to the creation of a cartel in the 20 years that limits the life of light bulbs.

What is the result?

What comes out, one can admire it again and again on garbage dumps worldwide. But there are also solutions from entrepreneurs who develop alternative modes of production.

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Intellectuals admonish technology to return to its original task, to the lasting relief of everyday life without the simultaneous devastation of the planet.

The solution: DIY on the rise?

A DIY culture could help, for example - and not just at home in the quiet closet, but also at work. DIY - do it yourself or do it yourself - has become a big trend in recent years, although at first glance it has a lot of disadvantages: the Tayloristic specialization has brought us efficiency, progress and prosperity and the self-made is always liable Unprofessionalism and the amateurism of a hobby. And who likes to be an amateur?

But even if DIY is not necessarily efficient, this way of working seems to make you happier. Why? Because making tangible things makes you happier, more powerful, more conscious, social and meditative. Already Karl Marx realized that at some point we lose the relationship to the product of our work and thereby become unhappy.

A new Maker culture as a model for Company ?

It is not for nothing that so-called maker spaces have developed parallel to coworking spaces in recent years, in which creative workers can produce their self-designed products themselves - e.g. with a 3D printer.

This can also be transferred to companies: You do not necessarily have to repair the company MacBook Pro itself in the oven to work happier. But employees who can decide for themselves in the workplace can thus carry many new processes. Because not a few people feel manipulated and alienated in their workplace.

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Co-designing helps to work more sustainably and better

Those who can help shape themselves feel a little less powerless and we can also learn from the DIY culture: Who eats what he has grown in his own garden, feels less dependent on the food industry, fertilizer and transport routes.

That's why Urban Gardening and Urban Farming projects are so popular. Companies should make use of this principle and use the co-design will of their employees in order to advance joint projects in a targeted manner.

Executives: Promoting sustainability in the company

This also shows how much sustainability has become a lifestyle. We all want to live more sustainably. Yet we are always horrified to realize that we have no idea what harm the products we consume cause harm to the environment and people.

Offers such as CO2 calculators or apps with information about the origin of products at least convey knowledge, but here executives could become active and pursue a targeted information policy in their company in order to influence a more sustainable economy.

4 tips for promoting sustainable productivity

But what can companies do specifically to sustainably promote productivity? 4 tips for concrete implementation.

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  • Promote teamwork: If you make something, you usually do not do it alone. He exchanges experiences with like-minded people. The DIY community has a lively exchange. And that's the way it can be in business. #
  • Promote self-efficacy: DIY makes employees happy and thus promotes the motivation of the individual. This is mainly due to the sense of self-efficacy that you have when you have finished something yourself. That's exactly what companies should use for themselves.
  • Improve thinking ability: “In between, I need work that I don't have to think about,” you often hear from DIY fans. And that is exactly why, for example, well-known politicians knit. Maybe companies should think about knitting lounges?
  • Improve maker qualities: Handwork as a change from office work supports our machinist mentality. Yesterday, when assembling furniture, did not I suddenly find the ideal solution to a job problem when trying out an unfamiliar tool? Businesses should take advantage of this creative, hands-on attitude.

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