Data reveals that being surrounded by greenery (green foliage, growing plants, or vegetation) decreases employee stress levels in workplaces, and that is why several companies in Japan do just that. An information technology start-up, Nextbeat Co., has a 2.5m diameter vine-covered ring hanging from the ceiling of their office’s entrance, as well as other greenery in each floor’s space.

Akane Hosokawa, an employee in Nextbeat, said that greenery makes them feel refreshed. Since 2015, employees are being screened for stress-related illnesses and they found out that greenery boosts the health and productivity of workers. Moreover, newly-hired workers consider the office’s ‘green’ environment a factor in choosing the company they will work for.

Kahori Genjo, an associate professor at the Graduate School of Engineering of Nagasaki University, discovered that people working around ‘greener’ areas are more at ease and relaxed. Daiichi Engei Co., a company that creates green offices, use aromas and even calming sounds like chirping of birds and murmuring of creeks as part of the ‘green’ experience. Greenery doesn’t have to be all natural; using cheaper artificial foliage plants can generate similar effects, encourages Genjo.

Even though having a ‘green’ environment means additional cost on budget, it sure does create a lot of benefits. After all, having productive and happy employees are worth every investment.

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