Having A Garden In The Workplace

by Business Case Studies on Tuesday 20th February, 2018

A lot of people look forward to spending more time in their gardens when they retire, but this may not be something that you have to wait for.  More and more companies are looking at encouraging being green-fingered even in the workplace.  Converting some of the office space into a natural space is much appreciated by employees and increases employee engagement as well as happiness.

Becoming Green In The City

Being green in the city has been labeled as having a corporate garden and they are popping up just about everywhere.  In 2011, a law firm received an award for biodiversity when they provided hives for almost 80,000 bees on their converted roof garden.  The company now has a Gardening and Bee Club which provides their staff with some time away from their desks and the race of corporate life.  The employees are also able to become personally involved in the production of honey from the hives which is later offered to their clients.

There are other organizations and companies who are following suit with the Bloomsbury Street Hotel growing food.  The Trades Union Congress roof also has a range of wildflowers which have been planted and tended.  These flowers create a garden that they hope their staff will use and that they will take home to use in their own gardens.

The head of corporate responsibility for the Olswang law firm states that they first introduced the bees to the workplace garden.  However, they soon realized that they needed plants and flowers to provide food for the bees.  This led to a core 12 to 15 being dedicated to the garden while the rest of the garden is used for winding down from the workday.

The staff of the law firm also run planning days and employees will switch off twice a day to go and water the plants.  The company has also run a sunflower growing competition to get their employees into the planting mood.  They also cultivate herbs and vegetables for the canteen.

The garden has now become a space for tranquility which is something that the corporate world needs to promote a stronger sense of employee engagement.  The garden is also in line with their work ethos which makes a great combination.  As the law firm works in a fast-paced environment, allowing their employees to hold meetings in the garden, eat their lunch there or use it for breaks can help them unwind.  They believe that the garden has promoted a very strong sense of engagement.

Engaging In A Natural Way

The research showing the rejuvenating qualities of nature on employees is becoming more widely accepted.  A paper for the Forestry Commission stated that green and natural spaces encourage the brains to recharge and will help employees stay focused and direct their attention to certain tasks.  The report concluded that attention is engaged by nature without any effort.

Another workplace with a rooftop garden is Great Ormond Street Hospital which is located in London.  However, it is important to note that landscaped areas can be just as powerful.  A digital agency located on the grounds of Bonis Hall which is a centuries-old estate can attest to this.  The staff of the agency can enjoy the 8 acres of parkland which includes 7 allotments for growing vegetables, strawberries and herbs.

The talent and development director of the agency states that imagination and creativity can be ignited by the open space that is afforded to them.  The parkland offers people the chance to remove themselves from the office.  The feedback that they have had regarding the environment has been overwhelming and they believe that it is one of the reasons why employees wish to remain with them.

Plants Can Combat Colds

The best news when it comes to gardens in the workplace is that you do not have to feel left out if your office does not have an area that it can convert.  You do not have to have a large outdoor space to get the benefits that greenery provides.  All you need to do is bring the outdoors into your office suggest The Tree Center.

Water and the other sounds of nature will also help your workplace.  Water fountains can be used in smaller offices to get the benefits that you want.  They have the added bonus of looking great as well.

Providing plants in the workplace has been found by researchers at the University of Exeter to boost productivity and wellbeing by up to 30%.  There was another study in Norway which found that indoor plants will remove up to 87% of air toxins in the office.  This purification of the air will lower employee fatigue as well as cold and cough outbreaks by almost 30%.

All of these reasons are why you should not wait any longer to start planting.  Getting some greenery into your office can ensure that you reap all of the rewards.  Another way to boost morale is to have a regular pet day in the office.

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