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No greenery leads to grey staff

Date 27 Mar 2007
Author The Editor

Firms are spending almost £4.5bn a year in sick pay because staff are working in cramped and dismal workplaces with no greenery or natural light, a recent report claims. Almost half (46%) of full-time UK workers describe their working environments as ‘gloomy’ or ‘depressing’. They take on average 14 annual sick days, compared with the typical worker's eight days off ill.

Miserable working conditions reportedly take their toll on employee productivity as well. Almost two thirds (65%) claim better surroundings would make them 20% more productive at work – equivalent to businesses gaining an additional working day each week or an extra employee for every five members of staff.

Ambius, who conducted the survey, claims the sort of environment in which people work can have a costly effect on morale. Its figures showed that eight in ten (84%) say their surroundings have a significant impact on their happiness and motivation. Top of the list of workers' interior irritations is being crammed into work spaces which are too small (35%), working without any greenery in sight (34%) and having no natural ventilation (31%).

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