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Plant power equals happiness

To commemorate the United Nation’s International Day of Happiness on 20 March we are celebrating the power of plants and their ability bring joy into people’s lives.

In the midst of a global pandemic, the importance of focusing on employee’s mental wellbeing during lock downs has been a growing concern for employers.

Research published by the Scottish Government found that 44% of those surveyed were less happy than before the Coronavirus pandemic.

The benefits of plants and their ability to impact our mood have been well documented and introduced into the office space, plants can be a cost-effective way of boosting morale.

One study entitled Effects of Foliage Plants on Human Physiological and Psychological Responses at different Temperatures, stated that ‘the presence of plants can reduce stress of the employee, health complaint and increase employee’s satisfaction and quality of working life,’ demonstrating the power of nature to improve  our feelings of happiness.’

The theme of this year’s International Day of Happiness is ‘Keep Calm, Stay Wise. Be Kind,’ a direct link to one of the positive benefits of plants, their ability to keep us calm and in turn help us maintain our stress levels. Adding greenery to the workplace can have a mood-altering effect, leading to increased levels of happiness.

The ability of plants to have a significant impact on our disposition and ultimately our wellbeing has been linked to our innate need to be in touch with our natural surroundings.  The term biophilia, a concept first publicised by Edward O. Wilson in the 1980s, describes this need for humans to be continually connected to nature.

A 2004 study into the impact of biophilic design in the workplace found that ‘those who work in environments with natural elements, such as greenery and sunlight, report a 15% higher level of well being than those who work in environments devoid of nature.’

Ironically, while the negative impact of coronavirus on our mental health due to lack of socialisation has been hitting the headlines, many of us have taken the opportunity, with more time on our hands, to exercise outdoors.  Following a BBC Wildlife Magazine questionnaire in September 2020, editor Paul McGuinness said: “Our study backs up what many of us suspected – that now more than ever before, it is vital for people to connect with nature, both for physical and mental wellbeing. The key challenge will be how we maintain or increase this engagement.”

As we look forward to further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions and the prospect of getting back to the workplace, it will be necessary for employers to carefully consider the biophilic design of offices to safeguard the mental health of team members and maximise happiness at work. Bringing the outside in with interior plants can help to induce joy into the working environment and nurture contentment and productivity.

Happy International Day of Happiness.

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Kevin Stewart, Facilities Manager , Registers of Scotland
“We have worked with GP for many years as a business therefore when selecting a supplier it was a natural selection and the service has been excellent.”
Caroline Hammond, Office Manager , LSPIM
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Sandy Fraser, Facility Management , Glenmorangie
“Nine out of ten people comment on the displays. The plants are simple but effective. Elaine [contracts manager] is very efficient and very knowledgeable and the installations guys were excellent, so helpful and particularly pleasant. We deal with delivery guys every day and it’s good to find quality guys like that doing deliveries and a really good job.”
Gordon Anthony, General Manager , Park Hotel
“Incorporating biophilia in a recent hybrid pilot workspace for a client in Glasgow was such an important part of the jigsaw. The project included large trees, standing planters in various designs, shelf planters and two bespoke moss walls. The exterior courtyard also underwent a transformation including power washing the paving, sanding and painting of the exterior furniture, new gravel, a new Astro turf putting green and various planters with lovely biophilia displays. The feedback has been fantastic and people have been raving about it from a senior level. A big thanks to all the team at GP who were a great support and pulled out all the stops to ensure completion on time.”
Susan Houston, Sales Support Manager , Apleona
“We pride ourselves on being a very culture orientated company where employee’s welfare is at the forefront of every decision. I want the office to be a welcoming and happy space for everyone who comes in and getting plants put in was the next obvious decision for this. We love our plants and couldn’t be without them now.”
Nikki Thng, CEO & Founder , Class for Kids
“The greenery creates a calm and tranquil environment in which to work and are conducive to the design process.”
Mette Møller, Urban Designer , HarrisonStevens
“UWS are delighted with the end result, GP Plantscape excelled from start to finish working closely with us carrying out several reviews and provided multiple options for us to consider. ”
John MacFarlane , Facilities and Maintenance Manager, UWS
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