With winter moving in many of us are starting to feel a bit down in the dumps – particularly on those cold early morning trips to work.
Numerous studies have shown that being in a bad mood has a negative effect on productivity, with Oswald et al finding that subjects who had their happiness increased were 12% more productive.
Bringing a bit of summer into your office can help to reverse negative emotions and hence make your staff work more efficiently. But what’s the best way to go about it?
As mentioned above negative emotions can have a negative impact on how productive we are. During the winter months many people can experience depressive moods. In an advanced form this is known is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that follows a seasonal pattern, with episodes occurring during the winter. Although its causes are not completely understood, it is thought to be linked to reduced exposure to sunlight.
While most people don’t experience seasonal depression in an extreme form (if you feel that you might have SAD you should seek medical advice), most of us will feel down as we head into winter.
Adding a touch of summer to your workplace is likely to have a positive effect on moods and help everyone feel a little brighter.
We all know the uplifting effect that art can have on us – why else would we include it in our homes? By installing some summery scene artwork in your office you will not only be lifting the dourness of winter, but could also be having a major impact on your employee’s moods.
Industry research has shown that workplace art can boost employee productivity and well-being. Try placing artwork- particularly that of natural scenes- around your office in strategic places; and watch the smile quota go up a level.
Of all our senses scent has the most powerful influence over our mood and memory. The olfactory bulb, which is at the base of the brain next to the nasal cavities, is part of the brain’s limbic system, an area known as the ‘emotional brain’ which is closely associated with memory and feeling. Hence smell can directly influence our emotions, and in particular is linked to associative learning – associating a scent with past memories and the emotions they created.
Infusing your office with a pleasant summery smell will therefore cause employees to experience the more positive emotions they associate with the summer months. Some companies offer ambient scenting as a way for businesses to enhance their surroundings.
Plants and Flowers
Even if you don’t feel convinced that making your workplace feel a little more summery will make your employees happier; there’s no denying that numerous studies have found that plants and flowers increase productivity.
They have several benefits for our health; from cleaning the air by removing carbon dioxide, compounds, moulds and bacteria, to being associated with psychological benefits such as a sense of well-being and lowered stress levels.
Buying plants for the workplace is therefore a great way to benefit your employees psychologically and physically, which will result in them being more productive. If you want to get really creative living green walls and indoor landscaping can be very effective. However, you will probably need to engage the services of specialists to make sure you get the desired look.
Do you have any suggestions for increasing productivity in the workplace? Let us know in the comments.