The findings from a survey of office workers by workplace environment consultancy Ambius claims that If we do get out, it’s not for long, with over a quarter of workers spending a maximum of 20 minutes outside during a typical working day in winter.
While a combination of weather and work pressure could be to blame this does highlight concerns that workforces, particularly in urban areas, are lacking a connection with nature and this can impact health and in turn, productivity.
Kenneth Freeman, International Technical Director for Ambius said: “Getting outside in winter probably isn’t top of the priority list, particularly in urban environments. The problem is that one of our most fundamental requirements as human beings is to maintain a connection with nature – even if it’s just a view of a plant or tree. If we don’t get outside and have no greenery or planting in view from inside, it can have a really detrimental effect on our welfare.
“While a park and some fresh air is ideal, the next best solution for workspaces devoid of any local green space is to bring the outside in. There have been a number of scientific studies showing how plants can make a major contribution to the health and well-being of people, reduce energy costs and increase productivity and profitability.
Complaints of Sick Building Syndrome are frequently reduced when interior plants are installed. We’re not just talking about the humble pot plant, there are a variety of solutions to bring nature inside, from greenwalls which can also be used as room dividers, signage or feature branding, to trees and driftwood sculptures.
“Most of us just naturally feel better if we can see flowers or a plant from where we sit or a view of trees outside. When we need to calm down or reduce stress we take a walk in the woods or a park. Yet, whether by choice or simply location and the demands of modern life, many workers are losing touch with nature – arguably at a time when it is most needed to keep mind and spirit healthy.”