Striving for Sustainability: Closing Our Scottsdale Office
As the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a “new normal”, Liquidity Services continues to find creative solutions for both our clients and employees to ensure the best possible experience.
One particularly momentous aspect of the pandemic is how it has affected the workplace, as the safety and practicality of traditional office spaces are put into question. Though the decision to prioritize employee safety and transition to remote working was easy, the question of what to do with our old office spaces did not have a clear or simple answer.
Using innovation and staying true to our core values of Relentless Improvement and Doing Well and Doing Good, Liquidity Services was able to find a sustainable and efficient way to close out our Scottsdale office and reestablish operations virtually.
The Scottsdale Office
For nearly twenty years, our Scottsdale office was a major hub for employees across every department, spanning almost 12,000 square feet and serving as a central location for Liquidity Services operations. When COVID-19 presented itself as a major threat to global safety in March of 2020, Liquidity Services responded quickly by transitioning all employees to remote work and temporarily closing all of its offices, including the Scottsdale location.
Though the shift to remote employment was meant to serve as a short-term solution to the safety issues brought on by the pandemic, it soon became apparent that this novel method of functioning actually offered more benefits than just avoiding rush hour. Productivity increased significantly in the first few months after the transition to remote work, and an employee survey revealed greater job satisfaction and higher morale company-wide.
“Just by working remotely, I am able to focus on my work more. Working remote has been a godsend, especially during this time, keeping us all safe.”
– Samantha McMahon, AssetZone Analyst
Moreover, switching to remote operations drastically reduced Liquidity Services’ carbon emissions, energy consumption, and paper waste that normally accompanied the traditional office setup. Global Workforce Analytics estimates that if everyone in the U.S. only worked half the week at their physical offices, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 54 million tons each year. After assessing these revelations, it was decided that Liquidity Services would permanently implement the new changes and close out many of its physical offices, starting with Scottsdale.
“I have enjoyed working remotely. I think the change was seamless and our team was able to adapt really well to the transition.”
– Travis Recchion, Customer Service Supervisor
When choosing a course of action for closing out the Scottsdale office, sustainability was prioritized as the deciding factor for each step. In lieu of a large, national junk removal company, we sought out the services of Paradog Junk Hauling and Disposal Services, a veteran-run disposal company based locally in Arizona. With the help of Paradog’s owner, retired U.S. Marine Michael Spykes, Liquidity Services was able to remove, recycle, and repurpose nearly 15 tons of office materials and equipment. Everything from cubicles to coffee machines were carefully assessed, and great care was taken to ensure that only those items which could not be resold, donated, or recycled were taken to a nearby landfill for disposal.
Read more about the disposal process here.
While avoiding landfill disposal altogether was not possible, our choice to take the extra time and effort to assess the reusability of each item in the Scottsdale office resulted in tons of material being redirected away from landfills. Though a mass disposal of Scottsdale’s office materials might have been cheaper and faster, we challenged ourselves to create a solution that would reduce our environmental impact and serve as a paragon for sustainable transition to telecommuting.
In total, 12,000 pounds of steel were recycled, two 26 foot box trucks full of material were donated, and a small profit was earned through the sale of reusable items from the office.
The novel coronavirus has profoundly impacted the modern workplace, and Liquidity Services serves as proof that it is possible to embrace these changes ethically and sustainably, without having to sacrifice productivity. Our “new normal” never cuts corners, never forgoes the ethical route in favor of the easy one, and always prioritizes our employees and customers. Our values as a company guide our decisions, and Doing Well and Doing Good dictates that we continuously find solutions that benefit our employees, customers, and surrounding environment collectively.