The physical workplace
If you’re a business owner, what steps can you take to help ensure that your organisation’s workforce is as happily productive as possible?
A lot of the things that make for a healthy workplace are now pretty common – all common-sense and useful stuff like making sure that there’s a water cooler and a comfortable temperature within the office. And of course comfortable seating that allows people to sit at t the correct height for the desk, and assume the best sitting posture. These all go some way to making the workplace the most ideal set-up, where people are more likely to give of their best during the working week.
The green factor
But a new and perhaps unexpected ally in helping meet the challenge of maximising workplace wellbeing has now arrived, in the shape of … plants. That’s right, plants. And no, April 1st was actually almost a year ago now, so it’s not some kind of plant-based office joke.
But when you think about it, the link between plants and wellbeing in the office really does make perfect sense. If an employee finds themselves in an office where there are plants around the place, it’s a fair bet that the plants are there because the management have decided to enhance the environment as well as keep the place green.
Investing in … vegetation!
Plants do also have an air-cleansing effect – and they additionally bring us back to nature by providing a welcome contrast against the strip lighting and computer monitors that the modern office holds. BBC Radio 4 recently ran an article on the subject of plants in the workplace after the idea was given a positive vote by one government ministry who invested £14,000 in workplace plants as a wellbeing measure.
What do you think – are plants a calming influence on office life, or simply a workplace extra?
Wider workplace wellbeing
Of course, things like having plants within the office space are just smaller components of a wider wellbeing at work policy. It’s something that’s increasingly popular as a way of helping to retain staff and also increase staff satisfaction levels, but there are no published figures regarding how many organisations now have a wellbeing strategy in place. One indication, however, of the spread of workplace wellbeing strategies comes from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, who reported that around half of the organisations that took part in its sickness absence management survey in 2010 had a workplace wellbeing strategy.
Jen Jones writes on business health topics in cinjunction with AXA PPP healthcare (business) for websites with a focus on general workplace wellness and employee assistance.