How Office Workers Can Benefit from Having a Garden On Site
Aside from producing healthy grub, the act of growing offers some major health boons. So, why not bring your garden to the office and enjoy those benefits at work too?
Just about anyone that grows will tell you that their garden helps them to relax. There’s something peaceful about being around nature and bringing something to life, no matter if it’s tasty salad greens or flowers that brighten up the area.
Even weeding can bring out healthy thoughts because you can focus all your anger on the weeds if something or someone has been bothering you. So, why not bring this to the office? There are some great benefits that can come from growing food in the workplace.
Corporate Social Responsibility
One of the big things that turn companies from a faceless, bland entity to one with personality is corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility is ideal for public relations, as it gives back to the community, motivates your staff to be a bigger part of the community, and creates positive relationships with the community.
It also makes your company look good to those deciding where they want to spend their hard-earned money, as people tend to put their confidence and money towards businesses that reflect their own values. A workplace garden can be part of your social responsibility mandate by providing fresh produce to your local food bank, school, or other entities.
If employees don’t have a release for the pressure they feel at work, it can end up in high turnover, high absenteeism, and even poor performance. Gardening is a great relaxation technique, and giving your employees something to do away from their desk can help to reduce the stress they’re under.
It gives employees a chance to get up and move around, and this can be perfect for someone who just got off a client call that really bothered them or someone who just feels overwhelmed. They can take a moment to themselves in the garden, and feel more relaxed and energized to get back to work.
Getting Up and Being Active
Growing food at work is also an excellent way to encourage your employees to get up and be active, especially if you happen to have a business that has a lot of employees sitting at their desks for hours at a time. This gives them a chance to move around, and it can even be better than getting that cup of coffee for that 2 p.m. slump when everyone’s tired.
Gardening can stimulate their senses and help to wake them up. A study even found that being around soil can increase serotonin levels, making them feel happy and contributing to lifting depression.
Keeping your staff happy and engaged can lead to a team that feels more productive, even if they took a short break to do a little weeding or harvesting. It’s a nice way to balance the effects of being sedentary for so many hours.
More people are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, and this often includes eating fresh produce. Having a garden on site means that your staff will have access to nutritious and tasty food that they or their fellow staff members lovingly grew and harvested. A free salad at lunch is a nice way to say thanks for being a member of the team.
This can encourage people to eat a healthier lunch and help them feel better about themselves in the process. It also provides a common interest other than work issues that can be talked about at the lunch table.
Other areas you may want to incorporate here include composting, recycling, and water conservation to get everyone involved, even those that don’t have a green thumb.
No matter if the employee loves getting to participate in the gardening process or just loves being able to eat some fresh produce, it’s a fun perk to have in the workplace. Every little thing that you can do to attract high-quality employees is a bonus, and this is one perk that not all companies can boast having in place.
Plus, the more perks you offer, the more likely your employees will see your company as a long-term employment option rather than jumping ship at the first chance they get with another company that offers more perks in their package.
Along with recruitment, this can really boost your business’s reputation for corporate social responsibility too.
Gardening at work can be as simple as having a small indoor garden with a few plants or creating a garden that can help the community. Growing food is a fun way to bring your staff together and contribute to making your workplace a little better and brighter. It’s a fun perk that offers a chance to reduce stress, give back, and be a little healthier at work.
Written by Shannon McKee | Freelance Writer, Gardener
Shannon McKee lives in Ohio and has been a freelance writer for several years now, including on her blog, whyiwah.blogspot.com. Nicknamed by loved ones a garden hoarder over the past few years, she grows a wide variety of plants in her urban garden.