May 22, 2018

Latest:

Four Seasons Gardens is transforming Brightwater Commons -

Friday, May 18, 2018

South Africa: Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson – Environmental Affairs Dept Budget Vote 2018/19 -

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sustainability is key for Corobrik -

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

FutureScape Africa Trade Show- 1st November 2018 save the date -

Friday, May 11, 2018

Van Dyck Floors steps into MasterFibre SA joint venture -

Friday, May 11, 2018

Watering Wonderland with Cellfast -

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Renowned firm Square One Landscape Architects seeks experienced project landscape architect -

Friday, April 27, 2018

Badec Bros share tips on how to get the most out of your highveld garden this winter -

Friday, April 27, 2018

Proper water management key to viability of solar-powered irrigation systems -

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Corobrik invests R800m in Gauteng mega factory -

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Celebrate Life without Walls at RHS Chelsea 2018 -

Friday, April 20, 2018

World Forum on Urban Forests 28 November – 1 December 2018, Mantova, Italy -

Friday, April 20, 2018

Designing regenerative landscapes -

Friday, April 20, 2018

South AFrica at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this May -

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Great Escape industry exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show -

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

First look at Macmillan’s RHS Chatsworth Legacy Garden -

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Waker Neuson’s Excavator: Equipped for Future Requirements -

Friday, April 13, 2018

The 7 strangest plants in the world! -

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

ILASA Conference on the 13 & 14 August 2018, Drakensberg -

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Living Building Challenge – A reality for South Africa? -

Thursday, March 29, 2018

“Biophilic” Environments & Why Amazon Filled Its New Office With 40,000 Plants

Any way you want to measure it, civilians these days are distracted by tech, overwhelmed by information, and generally feeling pretty anxious.
Surveys show we waste a ridiculous amount of time responding to messages, and some economists have even started to speculate that our smartphone addiction is actually hurting the economy. Being this tech-addled and stressed is unquestionably expensive. It’s also got significant human costs. A steady drumbeat of surveys shows happiness is falling and anxiety (especially among young people) is on the rise.

The solutions to this creeping mental health crisis are certainly manifold. Politicians could do plenty to help us all be less anxious (but probably won’t), while tech fixes and personal behavior changes all have a role to play too. But many of these levers are out of the hands of employers.
So what can businesses do to soothe the stresses of modern life and help their people perform at their best? Amazon has one simple but radical answer: more plants.
Nature makes employees happier, more creative, and more productive.
The online behemoth’s new offices in Seattle feature three domes called The Spheres which are filled with an incredible 40,000 plants, feature a real waterfall and a treehouse, and are designed to give the impression of walking through a rainforest. By all accounts, the project took heroic efforts to complete. Did Amazon do all this just to impress architecture buffs and environmental activists, and win a lot of “best offices” press coverage?

Nope, data-obsessed Amazon is just familiar with the boatload of science that shows nature has powerful effects on humans. Spending time in so-called “biophilic” environments helps to offset many of the negative effects of our frenzied, insecure modern world. Studies show that spending even just a little time in nature can:
double your attention span
decrease negative thoughts and increase happiness
reduce physical signs of stress, like elevated heart rate and blood pressure
boost creativity
improve productivity, even with only the most minimal exposure to nature.
In short, nature seems to both soothe the human soul and make our brains work better. That feels nice for people, but it’s also likely to make those who work in a high-pressure environment like Amazon better at their jobs.
Looking at the science, it’s easy to see why cash-flush Amazon might be willing to employ 600 full-time horticulturists to look after an office space that houses 800 employees (slots to work in The Spheres are already booked up for months, according to Business Insider).
No need to hire an army of gardeners.
Of course, retaining a small army of gardeners is probably beyond the budget of the vast majority of businesses, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a little bit of nature’s magic into your office.
On a personal level, simply opting to take your lunch break in a local park will refresh and sharpen your mind. Or, for more long-lasting effects, hit the garden centre and bring some more green into your office. If light is an issue, science even shows that simply incorporating more natural materials and images of nature into a workspace boosts creativity. (Or just get a philodendron–they’re practically impossible to kill.)
You might not be able to afford 40,000 plants like Amazon, but certainly you can afford four. Even that will probably make a difference.

 

To view full editorial please click here

Leave A Comment