The workplace environment is a place we spend much of our time and it is therefore important that consideration is given to our working space. I appreciate that in most cases there is little we can do about the structure and fabric of the environment however there are little things that can make a big difference with minimal cost.
Plants are not only aesthetically pleasing they can help reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being. Spending a small amount of money could make a big difference to your workplace wellbeing. There is increasing evidence of the benefits of interior plants within the working environment¹. Being close to plants can make us feel more comfortable and relaxed, they can absorb noise and are stimulating and interesting. Other benefits include reducing carbon dioxide levels and airborne dust and provide “micro-restoration” giving our brains the chance to recharge throughout the day². This relates to Attention Restoration Theory (ART) which suggests that concentration may be recharged by the exposure to natural environments. ART is still at an early stage of research development however the first Systematic Review was undertaken in 2016 by Heather Ohly et al. ³ and it is clear that this interesting and potential important area warrants further research.
I would therefore advocate taking the time to have a ‘desk detox’. Easy ways to detox are:
De-clutter by removing everything that is surplus to requirements!
Put paperwork into 3 piles; to file, to action and to bin.
Thoroughly clean desk space; sanitise phone and computer keyboard, mouse etc.
Look at the space from an aesthetic perspective consider what you could do to improve the area e.g. plants, different lighting, pictures. Take the minimalist Scandinavian approach, clean lines and muted tones with one accent colour.
Make your work space more efficient, productive and better for your wellbeing. Put simply greenery, outdoor spaces, natural daylight are all good for your wellbeing as well as enjoyable!
1.Healthy Workplaces: The Effects of Nature Contact at Work on Employee Stress and Health, 2011. Largo-Wright E. et al. Public Health Reports.
2.Restorative Elements at the Computer Workstation. A Comparison of Live Plants and Inanimate Objects With and Without Window View. 2013. Evensen, H.K. et al. Environment and Behaviour.