32% More Employee Productivity with Plants?

I recently came across an article on New Zealand Business news called Growing Productivity with Office Plants. According to the article the trend over the last few years to a ‘lean, clean office’ really impacts employee productivity in a very negative way. But wait – before we throw lean out the window we need to look a little deeper. The problem is not the lean clean, but in fact the lack of employee involvement. According to British researcher Dr. Craig Knight businesses can improve staff well-being by up to 40% and employee productivity by up to 32% by first “enriching the space” then allowing staff to stamp their own identities on how it looks. If management can see their way to letting go a bit and allowing staff into the decision-making around their own environment the result is the optimum solution for productivity – no matter what the work space ends up looking like.

Do you encourage your employees to be active? A study in Australia recently had one group of employees walk 10,000 steps a day and another not only walk the steps but add some resistance training 3 times a week. (For a comparative a typical office worker walks about 2000 to 3000 steps a day and on average walking 18 holes on a golf course is about 12,000 steps.)

What they found was the employees’ measurable components of brain function, including the ability to plan, remember, simulate future scenarios and make decisions was improved by 2% for the walkers and 4% for the group that had extra activity. Add to that their stress levels were also reduced.  Now 2% might not sound like a lot but as I have observed with the sport of curling a 2% better performance can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Now here is a real simple test for the health of an organization from the online toolkit of Daniel Pink’s latest book, Drive;  the Reich’s Pronoun Test.  Robert B. Reich is a former US labor secretary. He devised a simple tool for measuring the health of an organization. When talking to employees he listens to the pronouns they use. Do the employees refer to the company they work for as ‘they’ or as ‘we’?  ‘They’ suggests at least some amount of disengagement, ‘we’ on the other hand suggests some ownership and possibly the employees feel like they are part of something meaningful or significant.

If you are hearing a lot of ‘they’ perhaps you need to invest in some plants and allow your employees some control over their work space  😉

Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at http://www.bluecollarconsulting.ca/.


About Janet, doing it better.

I grew up and still reside in Northern Alberta. While I have numerous interests I am passionate about the Peace River region, its innovation, its people, and the creative spirit that envelopes us all.

Posted on September 21, 2011, in Business Productivity, Lean manufacturing tools, motivating employees, motivation, productivity, productivity tools and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. An attention-grabbing discussion is worth comment. I feel that you should write extra on this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but generally persons are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

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