During the large Greenport Aalsmeer conference, participants, including many governments with offices such as the province and municipalities, were called upon to make their own workplaces greener. They were referred to the campaign “Naturally Works”. The site contains an animation and a test that organizations can do to calculate the efficiency of natural workplaces.
SIGN showed a number of innovations during this conference, including the GreenNest tower that has been tested with the Asplenium Cripsy Wave. Afterwards, all visitors were given this ‘Air So Pure’ plant to take home. The message of this conference:
Base work on the principles of nature
Humans and our brains are made to survive in nature. We seek shelter, views, live with the seasons, and feel at home with the light, the sounds and the shapes of nature. Making workplaces more natural and encouraging healthier behavior will not erase the problem of burnout from the face of the earth. But naturally designed workplaces demonstrably contribute to healthier employees.
More and more employees are getting burned out
This makes perfectly sense, because people are not designed to work in square office spaces. Also, not to stare at screens all day and live on fast food. We are made to live in nature, work with our body and muscle strength, tell each other stories by the campfire, sleep after dark, and feed ourselves with fresh, seasonal produce.
On the way to healthier working
How work is organized and how people interact in the workplace differs per workplace. But quite generally, we exercise too little, eat unhealthily and the work environment is unnaturally designed. There are proven solutions for all these subjects. And those topics and good examples are central to Naturally works. What do they cost and what do they yield?
Discover what natural work yields
Compare the absenteeism figures of your organization with those of your own sector and see how and the costs of four interventions:
- natural daylight, view and sound,
- green and natural workplace,
- less stress, more rest and exercise,
- and healthy food and drink
relate to really very conservative estimated benefits.
Green and natural workplace
Green is our natural habitat. Ideally, every workplace should have living greenery, because the largest (financial) contribution of greenery is the de-stressing effect on the human mind and increase of productivity. In addition, green plants purify the air and increase the humidity, so they significantly reduce the problem with low humidity in winter.
Natural daylight, views and sound
In artificial light such as fluorescent lamps and nowadays more and more LED lamps, the color of the light appears to have an influence on people’s well-being. Daylight varies in intensity and color throughout the day: a higher blue ratio in the morning and and higher red ratio in the evening. It has only been known for 10 years that people have special receptors for blue and red: these appear to strongly influence the circadian rhythm of people. Nowadays there is artificial light that changes color during the day.Sound is another environmental factor that needs attention. Too much noise makes people feel stressed. Too much silence, on the other hand, can make people feel unsafe.
Healthy eating and drinking
Society is tempting consumers to eat fatty, salty and sweet snacks in almost every place. No wonder half of the people are overweight and a total number of 1 million diabetics. Thinking about healthy alternatives to caffeine and refined sugar is therefore not an unnecessary luxury. Just introducing alternatives to the usual sweet drinks, obligatory biscuits and vending machine snacks offers enormous benefits on the long term.