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Reducing Absences with Plants

According to a recent article in The Telegraph, the UK's National Sickie Day was February 6th. How many people in your office were nowhere to be seen on this date? Government figures show more than 130 million days are lost annually due to sickness days, costing the economy a shocking £100 billion per year. A report from Legal & General made the estimation that sickness absences cost an average UK business £120,000. Though these are worrying statistics, the solution may be simpler than expected - it could all be down to the environment in which they are working in.

Improved performance

A new study carried out by market researchers for US furniture company Steelcase questioned 12,000 people across 17 countries and revealed that a third of UK employees dislike their workplace environment. This is a huge contributing factor to abscences,

As so much of our time is spent within the office, it makes sense that it should be a comfortable and inviting place where employees can focus and feel ready to work. A growing trend within the business world is to introduce natural elements to the professional setting such as plants and trees. A study conducted by Norway's Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences in 2011 discovered that the presence of plants indoors led to dramatic improvements of performance, attention and concentration on those completing a task.

Using plants effectively

In addition to the proven benefits in performance at work, indoor plants also offer aesthetic benefits, making the working environment a significantly more pleasant place to be and therefore having a positive impact on the mental and physical well-being of employees. Guy Crabb, Managing Director of workplace design specialist OBE, suggested that a broken plan layout where the office is broken up into zones makes for a more secure and productive workplace. This can be achieved easily and attractively through use of our barriers and screens


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