The Benefits of an Office Garden for your Workplace

officegardenOnce people retire they look forward to spending more time in their garden, but maybe that is not something that has to wait. A trait that more and more companies are positively encouraging is becoming green-fingered, even on-site.

Converting office space into natural space which is much appreciated, including converting roofs, is an easy way of fostering a stronger sense of happiness and employee engagement in the workplace.

Becoming Green In The City

They are often called corporate gardens and are popping up literally everywhere. In 2011, the law firm which recently the law for Olswang won an award for biodiversity for providing hives for eighty thousand bees, converted its roof. They now have a Gardening and Bee Club of their own where staff is able to take a break from the busy office and the helter skelter of the day, and even become personally involved with the production of honey which is later offered to clients.

Other organizations such as the Bloomsbury Street Hotel who grow food and the Mishcon de Reya law firm and in the Trades Union Congress roof, the wildflowers are tended to, have put down roots of their own in hopes that their staff will make use of their gardens as well.

Head of corporate responsibility at the firm Olswang, Linda Zell states; “First we brought in the bees, we then however realized we needed flowers and plants in order for them to feed, so now there are a core twelve to fifteen dedicated to the garden, while the rest utilize it as a space for downtime and winding down. Planting days are now run by the staff, and twice a day people switch off on watering the plants.” She also added: We even ran a sunflower growing competition last year, we cultivate vegetables and herbs for the canteen on a regular basis.”

Zell expressed that the garden has become a space for tranquility, which is much needed and it is her belief that it promotes a strong sense of engagement. “It is our goal to donate five percent of our work time to CR on a yearly basis.” Zell commented. “This ethos and the garden are a great combination. We work in a very busy and fast paced sector, however now people have begun holding meeting is the garden, they have been eating lunch there, they have used for breaks and to unwind. We truly believe that what it fosters is a very strong sense of engagement.”

Engaging in a Natural Way

The studies behind the rejuvenating qualities nature offers staff is becoming widely accepted. A paper for the Forestry Commission on green space design reported that natural space encouraged the recharging of our brains and helps employees to recommence focus or direct attention on certain tasks. “Attention is engaged by nature without the need of any effort” is what the report concluded.

The Great Ormond Street Hospital located right in the heart of built-up London is another workplace with a rooftop garden, however areas that are landscaped can be equally powerful. McCann Manchester which is a digital agency and is located on the grounds of Bonis Hall, the old country estate. There the staff is able to enjoy eight acres of parkland, this includes seven allotments which are mainly used for growing vegetables, herbs and strawberries.

Louise Jackson, talent and development director stated: “Peoples imagination and sense of creativity is really ignited by the open space. People are given the opportunity to remove themselves from the hectic hustle and bustle. The feedback overwhelmingly is that they truly enjoy the environment that they are in, we are of the belief that it is something that makes people want to stay with us.”

Plants Combat Colds

The best news however is as follows; you do not have to feel left out if you lack an area of lawn that you yourself can convert. There is no need for a firm to have large outdoor spaces for there to be benefits in staff engagement provided by the greenery. It can be just as beneficial to bring the outdoors inside.

Additionally, water and the sounds of nature help also. Water fountains such as these from Outdoor Fountain Pros can add this to a small space and look great in the process.

Scientists at the University of Exeter discovered that providing plants in an office environment can boost wellbeing and productivity by as much as thirty percent, there was also a study in Norway 3 which found that indoor plants, that are capable of removing as much as eighty seven percent of air toxins, can also lower staff fatigue as well as cough and cold outbreaks by as much as thirty percent.

So there is no need to wait any longer. Start planting your own seeds that will reap engagement now.

Another morale booster for your staff is a regular pet day. There are also lots of benefits of pets in your office.

, , ,