The workplace is showing signs of experienceing a collective "nervous breakdown," according to research done by Integra Realty Services, New York, and Opinion Research Corp. International, Princeton, N.J.
American workers are stressing over security uncertainties and the current economic environment. This is translating into greater rates of turnover, absenteeism and lower productivity—the last things America needs while it slowly begins to recover from the events of recent months.
So why not fill your offices with plants? HR experts are encouraging employers to provide their workers with an environment that is comfortable and will inspire workers on their "off" time. Apparently, this environment is one filled with plants.
Studies from Texas A&M University and Washington State University confirmed that visual exposure to plant settings produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes while enhancing productivity by 12 percent. Another Washington State University study said people exposed to plants demonstrated more positive emotions such as happiness, friendliness and assertiveness. Negative emotions such as sadness and fear decreased.
Green thumb or not, maybe what your office needs is a little photosynthesis within its walls to reduce stress, pump up morale and increase productivity. —H.J.