Empower employees through plants

by FM Media
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Today, 2 March, is Plant Life Balance Day. To mark this day, Dr Craig Knight, a chartered psychologist from the University of Exeter in the UK, and Ambius are encouraging business owners and managers to not only realise the benefits that plants can bring to their office environments, but to empower employees to choose plants that help to personalise their workspaces.

“Don’t just put plants on desks, encourage your employees to personalise their work environments with plants that they choose themselves” – that’s the message from UK psychologist Dr Craig Knight, whose research has indicated that such empowerment can improve productivity by up to 32 percent.
Dr Knight notes that with most large offices having few windows and little natural light, insightful office managers often use plants to bring freshness and colour to the office environment, but he adds that the benefits go further than this. “Research strongly suggests that plants can result in improved wellbeing among staff, increased productivity and improved air quality,” he states.
However, he goes on to say, “Many business owners and managers choose plants to fit with their corporate identity and this is often imposed on employees, with little consultation. The evidence indicates that employees should be empowered and involved in the decision making process to help choose plants that say something about them, as a member of staff and as a team or department.”

Studies carried out by Dr Knight and his colleagues at the University of Exeter also suggest that being able to personalise space can increase a sense of well-being by up to 40%. “Our research shows that by seeing something of themselves in their workspaces, employees feel physically more comfortable at work, identify more with their employers, are more productive and feel more positive about their jobs. Plants can help employees achieve an environment that feels like their space rather than one imposed by somebody else.”
Russell Miller, operations director of Ambius, an Australian supplier of indoor plants, comments: “Plant Life Balance Day is an excellent initiative and I hope that the campaign will help draw attention to the benefits of plants, not only in our everyday home lives but also in our work lives. I’m sure most businesses are acutely aware of the importance of employee empowerment and it makes sense that employees are encouraged to have an input into the look and feel of their work environments.”

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