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7 Reasons Why You Should Put Plants In Your Working Area

7 Reasons Why You Should Put Plants In Your Working Area

While winter is hardly synonymous with cultivating flowers or plants, in many ways it is the ideal season for growing seeds. According to Beauscape, the primary advantage of wet weather is that it produces damp soil, which in turn makes it easier to remove weeds and plant new seeds. As a consequence of this, now is the ideal time to grow a host of seasonal plants, whether these are for your garden, home, or the confines of your workspace.

Integrating plants into your workspace can be particularly impactful, as it offers wide and diverse benefits both for the environment and you as an individual. Consider the following.

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1. Plants Reduce Stress and Blood Pressure

In both the UK and the US, studies have revealed that the presence of plants within a workspace can actively reduces stress. In Britain, for example, respondents were tested to compare their skin conductivity, heart rate, and blood pressure in rooms with plants and those without. The results were conclusive, and suggested that the mere presence of plants and foliage lowered the prevailing stress levels and increased the rate of recovery from bouts of anxiety. These results were supported by studies conducted in the US, which also revealed that integration of plants into the workplace also lowered employee blood pressure levels.

2. Plants help to drive Productivity

During the same research trials, it was also revealed that workers surrounded by plants were able to complete computer-based tasks with a reaction time that was 12% faster than alternative test groups. This carefully collated research also suggested that the process of tending for potted plants also help to improve focus over the course of a typical working day, improving the prevailing levels of concentration and attention to detail in the process.

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3. Plants improve Indoor Air Quality

In addition to this, including plants in your workspace can also have a positive impact on your physical wellbeing. The growth of living interior plants is known to create cleaner air, leading to improved physical health and lung capacity over time. This has been supported by various NASA studies, with one from 1973 revealing that various varieties of houseplant could be used to eliminate the volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that are present in the air. Given that VOC’s are capable of causing burning eyes and respiratory issues, the careful integration of houseplants into your workspace can deliver huge dividends.

4. Plants help you to take care of the Environment

We live in an environmentally aware age, with even industrial cities around the world investing in Eco-friendly initiatives. Increased levels of awareness are also impacting on individuals, who are constantly seeking out ways to create a healthier environment. The growth of potted plants at work offers a practical example of this, as this encourages you to take small, but practical, steps towards living a more sustainable lifestyle. While it is a relatively small action, when combined with office recycling and energy conservation it can have a cumulative effect over time.

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5. Plants add color and texture to the office

From a purely aesthetic perspective, the use of plants helps to integrate color, texture, and softness into the typical office. Plants are renowned for softening the harsh metallic sheen of filing cabinets, for example, while also infusing bright colors into sterile workplace environments. If you are an entrepreneur, you should also consider cultivating seasonal plants in your businesses reception area, as they have the potential to create a natural and welcoming aesthetic that appeals to clients and employees alike.

6. Plants make your office more comfortable

Similarly, it is crucial that you make your workplace as comfortable as possible (especially of you are to optimize productivity throughout the typical working day). This is particularly important when it comes to humidity, which can rise exponentially during the summer and create an oppressive working environment for staff members. It is worth noting that the recommended humidity range for human health and comfort is fixed between 30% and 60%, and falling short of such figures can trigger employee fatigue, diminishing immune systems, and even respiratory discomfort. Plants can negate these issues, however, as they have the capacity to naturally control humidity levels and elevate them into the required comfort range.

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7. Plants drive improved creative thought processes

On a final note, there have also been fringe studies that have explored the influence of plants of creative thought processes. One delivered particularly interesting results, with the introduction of foliage and household greenery into one office increasing creativity by an estimated 15%. Although there are many potential explanations for this, the most sensible is that the presence of plants invoke our natural instincts surrounding food and create a calmer state of mind.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay / GLady via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

Highly motivated employees are essential to the success of any business. Most people spend a third of their lives at work.[1] That’s a significant amount of time away from home, apart from the people who make us happy and the things we love to do. So keeping employee motivation high is essential for creating an office environment that gets the best out of our people.

But do you know what motivates your people?

It’s simple:

  • Is their work stimulating?
  • Does it challenge them?
  • Is there room to grow, a promotion perhaps?
  • Do you encourage creativity?
  • Can they speak openly and honestly with you?
  • Do you praise them?
  • Do you trust your staff to take ownership of their work?
  • Do they feel safe in their work environment?
  • And more importantly, do you pay them properly?

Every one of these factors contributes to the general happiness of your employees. It’s what motivates them to come into the office each day and work hard, hit goals, and get results.

In contrast, an unmotivated employee is typically unhappy. They take more sick days, they’re not invested in seeing your business succeed, and they’re always on the lookout for something better.

Stats show that 81 percent of employees would consider leaving their jobs today if the right opportunity presented itself.[2] So it’s up to you to set aside time and energy to create a work environment that benefits every one of your employees.

These seven strategies will help you motivate your people to consistently deliver quality work and, more importantly, to stick around for the long term.

1. Be Someone They Can Rely On

You rely on your people to turn up to work each day, to come to you when they have a problem they can’t solve, to be honest, and to always engage professionally with customers.

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But this is not a one-way street. You, too, need to be someone your team can rely on. They trust you to have their backs when a client is unreasonable, to know that the decisions they make are in your best interest, and to make good on your promises.

If you say you’ll attend an important meeting, be there. If your company makes a profit and you’ve said you’ll pay a bonus, pay it. The goodwill of your people is something you never want to test, let alone lose.

Be reliable; it’s astounding how much this motivates your people.

2. Create an Awesome Company Culture

There’s no denying that company culture trickles down from the top. Your leadership and attitude massively influences the attitudes, work ethic, and happiness of your staff. If you’re always stressed-out, overly demanding, and unreasonable, it’ll create tension in your office which will adversely affect your employees’ motivation levels.

In fact, the HAYS “US What People Want Survey” found that 47 percent of staff who are actively looking for a new job, pinpoint company culture as the driving force behind their reason to leave.

So if you have high staff turnover, you need to determine whether your company culture might be the motivating factor behind your churn rate.

Here are four ways to build a culture that keeps your employees highly motivated.

  • Be conscious of the image you present. Your body language and attitude can positively or negatively impact your employees. So come to work energized. Be optimistic, friendly, and engaging—this enthusiasm will spill over to your people and motivate them to be more productive and efficient.
  • Appreciate your people and be reasonable. Celebrate your team’s achievements. If they’re doing a good job, tell them. Encourage them to challenge themselves and try new things. And reward when deserved. If they’re struggling, help them. Work together to find solutions and be a sounding board for their ideas.
  • Be flexible. Give your people opportunities to work remotely—this is highly motivating to staff, particularly millennials. They don’t want to be battling traffic each day on their way to work. They don’t want to miss their kids’ baseball games or ballet rehearsals. Stats show that companies that offer flextime and the ability to work from home or a coffee shop have happier and more productive employees.
  • Create employee-friendly work environments. These are spaces that inspire and ignite the imagination. Have you ever been to Google’s offices? No headquarter is the same. From indoor slides and food trucks, to hammocks, and funky work pods on the wall, gaming rooms, and tranquil interior gardens, there’s something for everyone. It’s a space where people want to be, catering to their need for creativity, quiet, or team building; you name it.

So take a look at your company culture and ask yourself, Is my business an attractive workplace for talented professionals? Does it inspire commitment and motivate my people? What could I do to improve my company culture?

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3. Touch Base with Your Team Weekly

Make time for your people, whether you run a remote business or work in an office, set aside time each week to talk to your people one-on-one. It’s non-negotiable.

When there’s an open line of communication between staff members, work gets done. Don’t believe me? A study by Gallup found that 26 percent of employees said feedback from their leaders helps them to do a better job.[3]

Your people want to feel trusted. They want to take ownership of their work, but they also need to know that when they have a question, they can reach out and get answers. If you’re unwilling to make yourself available, your team will quickly become unmotivated, work will stagnate, and your business will stop growing.

So block off time on your calendar each week to touch base with your people, even if only to let them know that what they’re working on matters.

4. Give Them the Tools They Need to Do Their Jobs Well

Imagine trying to run your business without electricity. How would you contact your clients? What would happen when your phone or computer battery died?

Technology is super critical to the success of your businesses. It allows you to work more efficiently, to be more productive, and to handle matters on-the-go. That’s why you need to give your people tools that will make their jobs easier.

Make sure their equipment is in good working condition. There’s nothing more frustrating than a laptop that takes ages to boot up. It’s got to go. Replace outdated software with new software. Don’t make your designer work in Coreldraw; give them access to the most up-to-date version of Adobe Creative Suite. Take it a step further and buy them a subscription to Shutterstock or Getty Images.

Make working for you a pleasure, not a pain; and watch your employees’ motivation levels rise.

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5. Provide Opportunities to Learn and Upskill

Would you believe me if I told you that 33 percent of people cite boredom and a need for new challenges as the top reason for leaving their job?[4] If you want to retain your talent, you need to upskill.

Thanks to technology, we live in a rapidly evolving world that demands we change with it. A copywriter is no longer just a writer; they now need to be experts in SEO, Google Adwords, CRMs, and so much more.

A pastry chef needs to be a food stylist, photographer, and social media manager. An entrepreneur needs to be a marketer—or at least take ownership of the marketing message for their business—if they hope to scale.

Technology makes all of this possible. No matter your location, your people can continuously expand their knowledge and gain new skill sets—something that’s highly motivating to employees. They want to know that there are opportunities to grow and develop themselves.

If you won’t invest in your people, then your business becomes just another job to tide them over until they find where they truly belong. So be the company that sees value in developing its people.

6. Monitor Their Workload

Overworked employees tend to be unproductive and unhappy. Your people cannot be at full capacity every day, month to month. Something’s got to give. They’ll become deflated and their work will eventually suffer, which will negatively impact your business.

What I like to do is implement a traffic light system. It helps me to keep a finger on the pulse of my business. So there’s red, yellow, and green:

  • Red means they’re fully loaded.
  • Yellow means they’re busy, but they can potentially take on more.
  • Green means they haven’t got enough to do.

I use this traffic light system because I don’t want my team members to be stressed out of their brains all the time. If they are, they won’t make good decisions and they won’t do good work.

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If my people are regularly overloaded, I have things to think about. Perhaps I need to hire a new person to help ease the load or take a closer look at what projects are good to go, and which can take a back seat.

And this is why #3 is essential. If I’m regularly engaging with my people, I’ll know that while they’re coping with their workload, it is impacting their performance and health, and I’ll take action.

7. Don’t Mess Around with Your Employees’ Pay

Never mess around with your people’s salary. As a business owner or high-level manager, it’s easy to forget that most people live from paycheck to paycheck. Delayed compensation can mean a missed bill payment, which could result in costly penalties they can’t afford or hits to their credit score.

So it’s your job to ensure that you pay your people on time.

The Bottom Line

A motivated team is an asset to any business. These people never give up. They get excited about coming to work each day and can’t wait to test a new theory or tackle a particularly tricky challenge. They’re proud of the work they do. And more importantly, they have no reason to leave.

Wouldn’t you rather be part of their success story than the business that drove them away?

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Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

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