Offices need plants, workers say

Introducing plants into offices could improve health and morale, survey reveals.

Plants could help British businesses save sick pay, which totals £4.5bn a year, a survey claims. Eighty per cent of people surveyed said dark and poky staff areas hit morale at work. Lack of greenery and over-cramped rooms topped the list of workers’ woes, said plant supplier Ambius. The firm, formerly called Rentokil Tropical Plants, said almost half of full-time workers felt their workplaces were “depressing”. Forty per cent wanted a plant on every desk. Respondents took an average of 14 sick days a year against a typical worker’s eight days off. “A kind of desk-despair syndrome is setting in, hitting motivation and productivity,” said managing director of interior plants Jeff Mariola. “Décor is often the last budget priority. But when staff say it’s as important as holidays, employers must take notice.” The survey of 1,000 staff found almost two-thirds felt better surroundings would make them more productive. Mariola said: “That is equivalent to businesses gaining an additional working day each week, or an extra employee for every five members of staff.”

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