Americans are stressed, or so says the American Institute of Stress, which found that 77% of respondents reported that they regularly experience stress. On the surface, stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can help us scramble to finish a client presentation at the last minute or pull off a strong performance for the team softball league. However, chronic stress can lead to long-term illness and decreased productivity, both of which can hit a business’s bottom line. Could a little touch of nature, in the form of a vertical garden wall help your employees relax, stay healthy, and become more productive?
Stress is the New Normal, and Work is a Big Cause
Unfortunately, stress is abundant in our society. As if turning on the news wasn’t soul-crushing enough, many American stress about money, relationships, and health issues. Within this mix, according to the American Psychological Association, the third most common cause of stress reported by Americans is work.
Over 60% of Americans claim that their job is stressing them. Many struggle with long hours at the office, difficult bosses, and the challenge of balancing work and family life. This stress can have real consequences for their health and productivity.
The Link Between Stress and Illness
Most of us can remember a time of extreme stress. Maybe your heart started pounding hard, sweat beaded on your forehead, and your hands started to shake. You may have even gotten physically ill. Stress causes the release of massive amounts of adrenaline, as well as the chemical cortisol. In small doses, the body can absorb big rushes of these hormones, but over time, chronic stress causes serious illness.
Chronic stress is known to cause:
- Weakened immune system
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of a heart attack
The poorer an employee’s health, the more sick days they’ll have to take. Even when they’re in the office, they are far from a model employee. According to an article in Forbes Magazine, “employees suffering from high stress levels have lower engagement, are less productive, and have higher absenteeism levels.”
All of this affects a business’s bottom line. How much does worker stress cost employers? According to Kentucky University, companies spend almost $300 billion on health care and missed work days as a result of their stressed-out employees!
Suffice it to say that employers really can’t afford to have chronically stressed employees. What can you do to help your employees relax, refocus, and become productivity superstars? The answer might just be a touch of nature.
How a Vertical Garden Wall Can Help Your Employees Relax
Employers can help their workers manage stress in many different ways. These include things like helping workers achieve more autonomy in their position, supporting a positive work environment, and even insisting that they stop burning the midnight oil.
Here’s another novel idea. How about installing a vertical garden wall in the office? A vertical garden wall is exactly what it sounds like – a wall made up of living plants. According to an article published by the University of Minnesota, research suggests that our environment plays a significant role in our mental well-being.
The article goes on to explore in detail how nature has the power to reduce stress. “Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings,” the article explains, adding, “Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical well-being, reducing blood pressure, heart rates, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.”
While you can’t exactly take your employees on nature walks before each work day, you can introduce a natural element into the work environment with a beautiful and vibrant vertical garden wall. A small investment in a living wall may make your employees happier, more productive, and keep them healthier. Happy and healthy employees will make your bottom line healthier, too!
Is your business located in San Diego, Orange County, or Los Angeles? Contact TruVert to learn more about installing a vertical garden wall in your office or at your worksite.