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from your desk lessened stress in the workplace. While Australian research showed us that even one plant on or by our desk could affect our mood. As stress is a big cause of absenteeism – work-related stress accounts for 35% of illness and 43% of all work absenteeism in the UK – it makes sense to consider this simple solution.


The colour matrix


Certain colours are synonymous with certain feelings. For instance, offi ces are often decorated in neutral colours such as taupe, brown and grey, and these colours can be associated with fatigue, stress and ‘downright grumpiness’. If you want to encourage your


workplace to have energy, calmness and even, dare we say, happiness, brighter colours really work. Specifi cally colours that are often found in nature such as green, yellow and blue.


Of course let’s not forget that bringing a little of nature inside in the form of plants can help to keep the air in the building cleaner. This occurs through the natural process of absorbing ‘dirty air’ usually made up of unseen particles most often given off my man- made products and technologies. As if to prove the point about productivity, research carried out last year in the UK and The Netherlands in working offi ces showed that including plants in otherwise lean offi ces brought about a 15% increase in productivity. All of these studies go to prove how


money and time can be saved by the injection of nature into our working lives.


Why efi g and its members support biophilia It’s not hard to work out, is it? We’ve always heralded the benefi ts of plants as well as their aesthetic attributes; having this verifi ed by many industries is a blessing and makes us feel that all that we’ve gone on about for years is now getting through to a wider audience. Ongoing research uncovers more and more reasons why we should re- engage with nature; why we should enjoy the great outdoors and bring the outside in. Plants, whether they are growing outside, up a wall, on the roof or decorating working spaces, are great partners. They improve our: ■ General wellbeing ■ Overall heath ■ Stress levels ■ Productivity ■ Creativity ■ Mood ■ Air.


The benefi ts are many, and very real.


Author information


Colleen Smith is Marketing Coordinator at efi g, the European Federation of Interior Landscape Groups, representing interior landscapers by promoting the use and benefi ts of interior plants.


http://efi g.co.uk/index.php Interior green wall courtesy of Enterprise Plants


48 FACILITIES


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