Office Harmony and Wellbeing
So, I think everyone has heard the term ‘wellbeing’ or ‘wellness’ and even though I’m a florist and I’m into pretty things, I must admit I did remain a little bit reticent and standoffish to the concept until recently.
“What is it?”
“Is it a fad?”
“Do I have to hold hands with people?” (The answer is no, by the way)
Throughout this post I’m going to provide links to research articles and other blog posts. Please feel free to navigate away and read it all because everything I’m about to say is true.
At work we all know, some days are great, some are O.K and some are blinking rubbish but more and more, time pressures increase and workloads seem to be building up. Everyone everywhere expects more for their money. Stress and anxiety affect the way you think, work, evaluate situations and react to your peers. Wellness and Wellbeing is all about bringing a balance to your day and effectively bring a little chillaxing your way.
Humans work better with on a basic level when surrounded by nature. Whilst the functionality of workspaces is important too, sometimes it seems to have gotten to the point of clinical. We are not robots, after all. There is a term for it too. Biophilia, (yes, you can Google it at work. It’s not dirty). Edward O Wilson, A professor at Harvard University wrote a book about it, basically saying that we have a natural affinity to other life and we are bound together by it. By Now, I’m guessing that some of you might be thinking “Hang on this is getting a bit too Hippie for me now.” But please carry on reading. I promise that at the end you wont be tempted to wear a smock. And if you can’t be bothered/don’t have the time then by all means go to the bullet points at the end… ☺
Researchers from Rutgers University in New Jersey describe the effect flowers can have on humans as ‘potent mood elevators’ (these are professors of genetics and psychology!) Just being presented with flowers in their studies saw 100% of participants show measurable and genuine happy responses.
Read the full study here.
“Flowers have immediate and long-term effects on emotional reactions, mood, social behaviours and even memory for both males and females” That is a direct quote from the above research. You can’t tell me that you don’t think everyone at work could do with a little bit of that!!
“Flowers bring about positive emotional feelings in those who enter a room,” said Dr. Haviland-Jones. “They make the space more welcoming and create a sharing atmosphere.”
If you set up colleagues and clients to get this kind of feeling when they walk into work or a meeting it can only make a positive impact on productivity and sales. This is good from a business point of view but also on a personal level too for each individual.
The introduction of flowers and plants at work actively increases peoples’ ability to think more creatively when problem solving. While the effects are positive on both male and females, Males produced 15% more ideas when flowers were present than when there were none. Females were shown to create more ‘out of the box’ and flexible solutions when exposed to flowers.
Cognitive performance is better when flowers and plants are set in and around the workplace. Quite simply Flowers generate happiness and people who have flowers at work or at home seem to draw from their positive energy. They make you feel more relaxed, secure and happy. At work I think you will agree that your best ideas and most productive days happen when you are in a good mood.
Dr Tove Fjeld indicates that the astute business owner will protect and nurture its greatest asset (It’s workforce) by providing them with an environment that will increase wellbeing and boost productivity.
It seems daft that a little colour and nature inside an office would affect the creativity and performance of colleagues but when you are more relaxed, less stressed and inspired you are open to new ideas and able to problem solve more effectively. Studies show plants can increase wellbeing by 47%, increase creativity by 45% and increase productivity by 38%. Couldn’t you, or on a larger scale, your business benefit from that? Can you afford not to?
Check out this link for a study by Exeter University on this subject too.
That’s a ton of links, I know, but they all support the theory. I have looked for arguments for the opposite too and there simply are none.
SO LETS REVIEW…. Flowers and plants, what are they good for, again?
• Creative thinking
• Boosting positive moods
• Reducing stress and anxiety
• Creating oxygen
• Better problem solving
• Reducing sickness and absenteeism
• Introducing mood boosting colour
And will it affect anything really?
• Wellbeing up to 47% higher
• Creativity up to 45% higher
• Productivity up to 38% higher
So… Yes, it will!
And if you are still not convinced then think about this. Flowers can say anything, to anyone, at any time. They mean anything you want them to, without words. They are given and displayed in every situation imaginable. Birth, Marriage, Sorry, Get well, Sympathy, Joy, Just because, New Home and a million other reasons because we simply connect to them. People from all walks of life and all religions in all parts of the world give flowers. A very powerful statement, which I will always remember being reminded of by Caroline Marshall-Foster
Over August we will be popping up in office foyers around Manchester and creating floral installations, which people can enjoy and be excited by. We hope to bring a little happiness and positively boost the mood of everyone involved. Watch out for us and check back for updates. We will upload photos of our little endeavour!!
If you see us! Come chat to us!
From Kate and Lisa at Paragon Floral Design.