Employee absenteeism costs businesses millions of dollars a year. The costs are calculated in several different ways, including the expense of hiring temporary help, loss of sales, and customer dissatisfaction due to understaffing. There is help, though, from an unexpected source – Mother Nature. You can reduce absenteeism in the office by adding plants. Office plants can actually be good for your health.
Living plants actually scrub the air, removing many toxins. Carpeting, for example, has
formaldehyde in it, as well as other chemicals. The off-gasses from paint, drywall, and other construction materials can create dry sinuses, allergy symptoms, headaches, tired eyes, and even lower the immune system over time. Rather than installing expensive air scrubbers, clean the air in your office with some leafy plants.
Dracaena, for example, absorbs chemicals in the air from painting products. Typically, plants with a lot of leaf surface are best for scrubbing the air, simply because there is more contact area. Ferns have a lot of small leaves, as do ficus trees. Spider plants are another specie that has a lot of leaf surface.
As the plants absorb chemicals from the air, they release oxygen. This enriched atmosphere is healthier for your employees and customers.
You can also regulate the humidity in your office with live plants. As the plants complete photosynthesis, they not only add oxygen to the air, interior plants release moisture as well. Increased humidity helps workers to avoid dry sinuses. This reduces the number of colds during the year. Since bacteria and viruses tend to thrive in dry, irritated nasal passages, the increased humidity from live plants in garden pots and soil in the office Is one of the best ways to battle seasonal colds.
In today’s Workplaces, many employees spend the majority of the day staring at a computer screen. That, combined with the stark lighting of the office, contributes to eye strain and vision problems.
Plants in the office soften lighting, creating a more natural atmosphere. The leaves reflect light, which breaks it up and reduces glare. The variations of light that result is healthier for the eyes and reduces eye fatigue. Plants also make it more likely that employees will glance away from their computer screen more often, which is much healthier for their eyes.
The addition of natural elements like plants to the office helps to reduce stress. The human body responds physiologically to nature. Stress hormones are reduced, blood pressure decreases, and respirations slow down in natural environments. While you can’t make your office the equivalent of the “fishing hole” or a woodland campsite, you can break up the harsh, straight lines of office architecture with plants of all sizes and shapes.
The foliage is a living feature that sways when climate control switches on and off. It softens hard edges, mutes ambient noise, and filters light. All of this reduces stress. When you combine these qualities with the air purification, office plants are a smart idea for your health.