Stress in the workplace is rampant.
I am not directly affected; but, my daughter tells me enough stories about her daily work to convince me that even if a corporation would hire me, I’d have to think twice before I jumped at their offer.
For many companies cost cutting means smaller workspaces and longer hours. That, coupled with dealing with irate customers, tight deadlines, expectations for all employees to up-sell, and immature, inconsiderate teammates makes life in many offices more than a little stressful.
Now, I’m not saying you need a lot of space to work on a phone and a computer. But it would be nice to have just enough room to stretch your feet out. It would be nice to be able to look at something more than the half-walls that separate workers in bull-pen like offices. It would be nice to talk with a customer on the phone without having to worry about distracted by your next door neighbor’s phone conversation with his customer. Imagine working in this kind of environment for 8-10 hours a day. Just sayin’…
Now many companies recognize that this is not the most ideal environment for maintaining mental health and managing stress. So, most notably in higher tech offices, they encourage employees to bring toys to work and allow various levels of lighthearted play. That’s not a bad practice but it doesn’t work very well when sensitive phone conversations are taking place.
Some employees try to enhance their workspaces with posters. Some, like this one, find a perch for a friendly philodendron (They do very well in less than optimal conditions and thrive on very little care.).
My daughter shared her innovative approach — she has an entire garden. Check it out below. She has a variety of easy-grow plants all lined up along the window ledge near her cubbie. She can’t see it from her desk but they’re there to greet her every morning when she arrives, when she takes a rare lunch break and every evening when she leaves for the day.
The trick here is that you need to be sensitive to the plants. Each one has its own personal needs in terms of water and light and temperature. Sometimes you’ll choose a plant that – no matter what you do – isn’t happy. But, with a little experimentation, you can have a very interesting collection of plants.
Now you don’t need to spend a lot of money. Some of these were purchased at the local Home Depot. Others were clippings and some were grown from seeds. There’s no end to the possibilities. Even an exotic sunflower or a grapefruit seed can do very nicely in the right spot as you can see below.
If you’re working in a Chicago highrise office, consider getting creative. If a plant doesn’t thrive just try something different. You’ll be amazed. I guarantee it.
On a whim, my daughter has successfully grown sunflowers and a grapefruit tree in pots (see below). You can too.
With very little effort, those plants will do wonders for your morale and sense of accomplishment. After all, they don’t complain and they don’t participate in office gossip.
SUNFLOWER LOVES ITS HOME IN CHICAGO HIGHRISE OFFICE…… AND SO DOES THE GRAPEFRUIT!