Featured Whitepaper   -written by a former Junior Consultant

 

Breathe New Life into Business

...

 

Despite a restricted credit market and a shaky economic outlook, businesses worldwide continue to achieve success by focusing on efficiency and profitability.  In the short term, these businesses are looking for innovative, cost effective solutions that can boost performance with lasting positive effects.  One solution is in plain sight and is readily available in any locality:  indoor plants.  A new era of living, breathing, green workplace decor could be at hand.

 

By promoting a mentally and physically healthy workplace, businesses large and small can effectively improve performance and moral.  According to the EPA, in today's workplace indoor air quality has substantial effects on operations.  Their study concluded that "work performance may be improved by as much as 10% by providing superior indoor environmental quality."  The criteria used to determine the indoor environmental quality, IEQ, included an air pollutant diagnostic to determine the presence of air toxins (ammonia, carbon monoxide, etc.) in the workplace.  

 

Improving the IEQ, and thus improving workplace performance, is surprisingly simple.  According to a NASA study, certain types of houseplants "can remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours."  The most effective air purifying plants are ferns, philodendrons, ficuses, and ivy.  These plants can remove air pollutants as well as "chemicals from paints, varnishes, car exhaust, and tobacco smoke."     

 

Green plants have also been proven to reduce stress and provide a quieter, more focused atmosphere for employees.  Dr. Virginia Lohr of Washington State University measured emotional states, blood pressure readings, and pulses as subjects reacted to computer data in areas with and without plants.  The study concluded that subjects, while in the presence of plants, were less stressed and reacted 12% more quickly to the symbols.    

 

Not only do plants clean workplace air and provide a better environment in which to work, but they also release oxygen.  An increased oxygen supply has many positive biological effects including increased energy and a stronger immune system.  This added oxygen supply can even lead to less use of paid sick time, further reducing costs to the company.

 

As health care costs continue to rise for businesses, smart employers realize that employees are influenced by health conscious choices in the workplace.  By adding plants to the workplace as part of a campaign for healthy living, companies can promote healthy and sustainable lifestyle choices which can prove to lower health care costs.  This added value is great for both the company as a whole and the individuals that make it work.  To that end, most businesses concede that a happy and healthy workforce directly impacts every aspect of operations.   

 

Innovative companies around the globe are turning to living, breathing green plants for workplace decor.  In doing so, they are promoting an environment of cleaner air, increased productivity, and reduced stress.  Overall healthy and sustainable lifestyle decisions are important to responsible business plans both fiscally and ethically.  Adding green plants to the workplace is an easy and cost effective way to breathe new life into your business.

 

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Newton Business Architecture is a management consulting firm focused on business development and incubation.

 

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