Are Your Employees Overwhelmed? Bring Them Plants.
True or false: the most productive employees are also the most stressed.
Despite the pervasive belief that busier is better and overwhelmed is the norm, the answer is a resounding false.
In fact, when employers prioritize their workforce’s mental health, they see huge returns in employee satisfaction and productivity.
That’s exactly why savvy executives are signing off on major interior renovations involving biophilic designs for the office space. Plants are stress relieving, and sometimes just looking at one is enough to reinvigorate an overwhelmed office worker.
Why are Plants so Good at Helping Employees Relax?
There’s a reason why nurseries are selling out of indoor plants at unprecedented rates: people are more stressed now than they’ve ever been, and plants make them feel better.
A 2008 Preventative Medicine study found that when people were exposed to indoor plants, they felt less stress. Why? The plants were pretty. In the researchers’ words, “indoor plants in a hospital room reduce feelings of stress through the perceived attractiveness of the room.”
It’s that simple. We are psychologically inclined to prefer green spaces. According to a 2020 Environment International study, biophilic environments—indoor spaces that incorporate natural elements like house plants—decrease stress and anxiety and enhance physiological recovery.
Simply put, placing indoor plants around the office provides your employees with visual anxiety relief. Even better, you have lots of options to choose from, including the following indoor plants commonly associated with stress reduction:
- Chinese evergreen
- peace lilies
- snake plants
But is Investing in indoor plants really worth it? Decorating your office with indoor plants might seem like a big ask until you take a close look at the impacts of stress on the work environment.
Isn’t a Little Stress Good for my Employees?
It might be tempting to think that employees thrive under pressure or that the price you’d pay to improve the work environment wouldn’t be worth the benefits.
Stress is bad for business. Research shows that chronic stress in the workplace has led to the following problematic outcomes:
- 14% of employees work in a place where equipment and machinery have been damaged as a result of stress-related anger.
- American businesses lose up to $300 billion each year because of workplace stress.
- 120,000 people die every year due to physical and mental health complications arising from work stress.
These are troubling statistics, but there are several simple adjustments brands can make to create a more relaxing work environment. One of the simplest? Bringing indoor plants to the office.
According to recent research from Japan, a regular practice of staring at an indoor plant for three minutes is enough to reduce mental fatigue and improve psychological and physiological health.
Most of your employees will be walking into the office a little (or more than a little) battered by the past 12 months. They’re excited to get back to work—a change of scenery and a return to normalcy are just what a lot of people need right now.
Reward their resilience with a verdant space designed to ease the transition. Let a bird of paradise or a lady palm greet them, each gentle reminders that you care about how the people who make up your workforce feel. As it turns out, the way people feel at the office directly impacts the way that they work.
How do you deal with work stress? We’d love to hear how you balance mental health while growing your business in the comments.
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