During our recent business trip to the Big Apple, we noticed things that we hadn’t noticed last time we visited as tourists. Let’s face it, our attention is in a different place when we’re on holidays and we don’t tend to hang out in the business districts as much. In any case what we noticed are some really lovely green spaces, with water features and lots of seating and tables. These spaces felt really peaceful and inviting in a city that can otherwise feel like an assault on the senses.
So why is ‘Green Space’ important in workplaces and business districts?
Research has shown that there are many benefits when employees have a view of green plants, rather than man made objects, and access to green space. These includes things such as:
● Increase in employee productivity
● Increased job satisfaction levels
● Plus employees who can see plants at work experience less headaches and illnesses than those with a man made view
The impact of green space in business areas also provide economic benefits. Greening a business district may:
● Increase community pride and positive perception of the area ensuring more people shop locally or visit from outside the area
● Change the perception of an area
● Quality landscaping gives the impression that quality businesses operate in the location and attracts more customers who are willing to pay a premium
● Increase tourism related traffic
● Increases in tourism are associated with well maintained open space.Increase employment, due to increased trade
● Lead to a decrease in or avoidance of crime
It is currently posited that these benefits come from the sense of calm that we feel when we can see plants, and specifically for those who spend time in green space, such as employees on their lunch break, enjoy a feeling of rest and wellbeing.
And finally there is the impact greening our spaces has on the environment and our energy consumption.
The access to plant life or other open spaces at work provides benefits to the bottom line of business via increased productivity and savings related to lower turnover and decreased absenteeism. And that’s not even talking about the positive impact on the workplace culture due to improved engagement and employee wellbeing.
At a time when organisations are striving to be noticed as employers of choice and to both attract and retain talent, providing a greener space, or at least one that seeks to find a level of harmony with the natural world, is a worthwhile consideration.