Creating a happy office environment is foremost in getting the most out of your employees. A happy motivated work force is the key to a thriving business. Companies are getting more aware of this, resulting in a significant amount of research on office design and why it is important. After all, most of us spend a large amount of time there. Recent trends have preferred smooth clean lines with minimal clutter. However, one thing that everyone seems to agree on and secret to a 'happy office' is that plants are vital for a contented and healthy office.
If we had a choice most of us would probably select a desk by a window overlooking a natural landscape. In his article The Caveman’s Guide to Building a Better Office, Ron Friedman suggests that part of the reason for this stems back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors who spent most of their time outdoors, where they were close to food, water and other people. We know that it’s almost impossible to give everyone a view of the outdoors. What we can do in offices however, is ensure that we have access to plants, bringing a bit of the outdoors in.
Research carried out in 2014 by psychologists at Exeter University among others, showed that when plants were added to ‘lean’ offices, worker satisfaction and quality of life improved, ultimately leading to an increase in productivity of 15%. Analysis of the findings suggested that a green office “increases employees’ work engagement by making them more physically, cognitively and emotionally involved in their work.”
Make a Happy office - Enchant with the Benefits of a Plant!
Further research has shown that the presence of plants can have other benefits for offices and those who work in them.
These benefits include;
Cooler air and improved humidity levels as a result of plant transpiration, so decreasing the need for air conditioners
A decrease in levels of pollution as plants are known to remove toxic chemicals, so cleaning the air
A lowering of carbon dioxide and increase in oxygen levels, leading to a less stuffy environment and so less drowsiness
Reduction in noise levels due to the ability of plants to absorb sound
Increased creativity brought on by exposure to nature and the colour green
Lower blood pressure and decreased workplace stress
A more pleasing and calming environment for staff, visitors and clients
An overall increase in well-being
Having plants around the office not only benefits employees but they also give potential clients and visitors a friendly welcome. They give an otherwise ‘impersonal space’ a warm feel. A feeling that the company cares about their employees and therefore them. It’s a simple process but can make such a difference to any business. Remember; "A Happy Office is a Productive Office"