Businesses urged to empower employees through plants

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Businesses urged to empower employees through plants

“Businesses - 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 leading UK psychologist Dr Craig Knight whose research has indicated that such empowerment can improve productivity by up to 32 percent.

To mark Plant Life Balance Day on March 2, Dr Knight, chartered psychologist from the University of Exeter (UK), and indoor plant specialist 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.

According to Dr Knight, ”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 the benefits go further than this. Research strongly suggests that plants can result in improved wellbeing among staff, increased productivity and improved air quality.

“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%.

Dr Knight continues: “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.”

Ambius is one of the leading suppliers of indoor plants in Australia and is an ongoing supporter of the national ‘Plant Life Balance Day’. The campaign, developed by the Nursery & Garden Industry of Australia, recognises the important role that plants play in our busy, indoor working lives.

Russell Miller, Operations Director with Ambius said “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.”

There are many types of plants from which to choose – from lush green foliage, textured leaves, striking interior landscaping displays to more dramatic interior artwork.