COMPANY CULTURE / SEP. 18, 2014
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Why Your Office Needs To Grow Green

Is your office going green or are you stuck in the traditional outlook of the workplace? According to a new study conducted by a University of Queensland researcher getting your office into a vegetative state will prove beneficial for your business. According to the research, an office enriched with plants will increase the joy of staff and boost their productivity by 15 percent.

The study is the first-ever that assesses what effects green surrounding could have on productivity. The study focused on three workspaces in the Netherlands and the UK was conducted in partnership with researchers from Cardiff University, the University of Exeter and the University of Groningen. Over the course of two months, concentration and workplace satisfaction were monitored in offices that were elegantly decorated with greenery. The result of the study showed that adding plants to an office improved the quality of life of an employee.

According to Professor Alex Haslam from University of Queensland’s School of Psychology who co-authored the study, “The findings suggest that investing in landscaping an office will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity.”

It boils down to influencing a more positive perception in your employees as a green office shows that the employer cares about them and his concerned about their personal welfare and their well-being. Another discovery is that against the traditional approach, landscaping the office with greenery makes the workplace more enjoyable, comfortable and profitable. It also brings employees closer to nature and presents a more relaxed and soothing atmosphere.

Yet there has been a long held belief that minimally appointed office spaces were more favorable to an employee’s productivity. It is perceived that lean offices will make you as efficient and responsive as it helps you cut lead times, increases responsiveness to customers and improves on-time delivery.

However this study questions such philosophy and popular opinion. "The ’lean’ philosophy has been influential across a wide range of organizational domains. Our research questions this widespread conviction that less is more. Sometimes less is just less," Alex Haslam said.

What many do not understand that in a bid to reduce space in modern offices and desks, businesses are also suppressing the employee’s ability and mood. This research may have thrown a light on the widespread theory of conserving space and promotion of the idea that less is more.

The research is projected at looking at the long term rather than short term benefits by focusing attention on real offices and infusing them with green vegetation. Evidently the benefits are not only physical and intellectual but emotional as well as a green office improves employees work engagement.

What this study has also explained is that there is a psychological factor to every workplace we are present in. There could also be a more definitive explanation as to what a genuinely smart office should represent and what is right or wrong when it comes to existing workspace design and management.

If you are an employee would you prefer to work in a ‘lean’ office or a ‘green’ office? Please comment.

 

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