Do you often feel tired and unmotivated at work? Have you ever found yourself getting agitated with a colleague on the next desk? Well if you answered yes to these questions then you are definitely not alone. According to the BBC Health Website stress caused by work is the second biggest occupational health problem in the UK.
You will probably be surprised to hear that in the UK alone 75% of all sick days are due to stress and back pain, and that £13.4 billion pounds was lost by UK businesses in 2005 according to the Confederation of British Industry, Health and Safety Executive.
Whilst this paints a gloomy picture of UK employment it is not to say that most of us don't enjoy our jobs or get a great deal of pleasure from what we do for a living. In fact, in most cases it is the exact opposite. For many people it is not their position or duties that get them down but in fact the surroundings, décor and environment of the office buildings that they are working in.
When it comes to reducing stress levels for either yourself, colleagues or employees there have been many studies and academic research papers that demonstrate a series of ways to improve your mood whilst at work. Since productivity is linked to motivation and emotional well being keeping employees and yourself in the best possible mood at work is a vital part of being successful in your role and duties.
It seems that the simplest and most effective way to combat work related stress levels is to introduce office plants into your office environment. Office plants, according to several leading horticulturalists and scientists have positive effects on people and can help to enhance moods and help people feel more relaxed.
In his two year study on behalf of the Bavarian State Ministry of Nourishment, Agriculture and Forestry, Engelbert Kotter, found that employees working in office environments without any office plants or greenery were likely to have more negative perceptions of their well-being than those who worked in an environment full of office plants and other foliage.
The study which looked at 194 employees spread across 94 offices, assessed employee perceptions using a series of questionnaires that were answered both before and after office plants were introduced, alongside humidity changes and alterations to the lighting in each of the offices. Both humidity and light are important for both office plants and humans so all aspects were changed slightly to measure the effects.
The respondents claimed that environments with the office plants felt much fresher and more relaxed than when the office plants were removed. The participants also indicated that they felt much less stressed when the office plants were present, with some commenting that they felt ‘more human’ when surrounded by plants.
But in the long term, do office plants ever really stand a chance of combating such high stress related statistics? The simple answer to this question is yes, providing you make proper use of planted office displays and other advice relating to improving stress levels whilst at work. The Times Online , for example, recommended a number of possible solutions to stop you feeling so stressed whilst at work including taking sufficient breaks, avoiding office affairs, personalising your desk and of course getting yourself some office plants!
Fosters Breathing Space specialise in supplying indoor and office plants for plant displays to brighten up offices, showrooms, and special events. Visit http://www.breathing-space.co.uk for more information.