Shorter days and colder weather can all impact the productivity, immunity, and wellbeing of your team. And while there are many steps you can take to keep everyone happy and healthy this season, incorporating plants into your office space might be the power play that brings it all together.
Winter is the busiest time of year for many companies, but some employees struggle to remain productive this time of year. Office incentives like a group lunch, half days, or recognition may all help, but it’s also important to see what your workforce is seeing. Is your office decorated with pleasing visuals that make it a place people want to be, or is it all business?
This is the time to consider plants and nature indoors. By adding living features around the office, employees feel more engaged and connected to their surroundings. In fact, Dr. Chris Knight and his fellow psychologists at Exeter University have noted that workers are 15 percent more productive when there are houseplants and décor in the office.
Bright colors and vibrant smells from plants can also engage the senses to give a boost to creativity while creating a more satisfying environment to be in.
But the benefit of plants also impacts factors like office immunity and employee wellbeing. There are a number of things employers and employees can do during winter months to boost immunity and lessen illness, including practicing good hygiene habits, reducing contamination in the environment through cleaning and air filtration, and reducing other immune system weakening stressors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, adults have an average of 2-3 colds every year but a 2019 survey showed that about 90 percent of respondents still reported for work with cold and flu symptoms.
Plants incorporated into the workplace can help both employers and employees meet their immunity goals. Not only are plants natural air purifiers, but a study from the University of Technology, Sydney, showed a decrease in illness and absences in offices where plants were present.
Many plants thrive as part of interior greenery, including neon pothos, pothos “green queens,” variegated philodendron cordatum brasils, and lemon lime warneckiis.
The study also showed a decrease in feelings of stress and negativity, increasing employee wellbeing. Making sure office spaces are brightly lit and decorated with plants reduced the ‘green deprivation’ people felt during the winter months.
The improvement in wellbeing also contributes to a decrease in stress, giving immune systems one more bump to beat illness this winter season.
At Plant Solutions, we pride ourselves on helping our clients create and maintain workspaces that promote health and wellbeing. Learn more about our solutions for creating wellness in the workspace by visiting plantsolutions.com/services/workplace-wellness.