Granted, this employer was forced to take these measures due to an unprecedented natural disaster. But any firm could benefit by stealing a page out of the Tokyo city government’s playbook.
City workers in Tokyo will begin their work shifts a full hour earlier than usual this summer. The city hopes to exploit the early daylight hours in the summer — and use less air conditioning and office lighting with the change in shift times.
Government workers on the earliest shift will begin work at 7:30 a.m and end the day at 4:15 p.m.
The move is a response to an expected summer energy shortage — caused by Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-chi nuclear power plant being knocked out. The Tokyo Electric Power Co. expects to supply 53.8 million kilowatts of electricity for Tokyo and its vicinity in July. However, the estimated demand is 60 million kilowatts.
To prevent blackouts, the central government in Tokyo has asked companies and government offices to cut electricity usage by 15% — and it wants businesses to limit air conditioning and set room temperatures at 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Obviously, your firm isn’t in the same position. However, by adjusting your thermostat by one or two degrees or introducing summer work hours, you can see some significant cost savings.