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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Plants, and Animals, and the future, kind of.

Studies indicate that incorporating nature into the design of office spaces increases productivity.  Further, the study conducted by the Journal of Experimental Psychology Applied, and reported here by suggests that it also improves moral,and provides an improved sense of well being, and happiness.

We, here at Life Explained (#lifeexplained) believe in promoting a happy, healthy, and productive work environment.  Of course we really like the bit about "productive" and everybody wants an "environment."  we tried saving a little cash by going environment free for a while, but that did not work at all, associates floating off into space, taking pens, keyboards, and pads of post it notes, trying frantically to grab onto anything to keep from drifting into the vacuum.  We lost two copiers and an espresso machine.  We really liked that espresso machine, too.  Plus, everybody complained about the lack of oxygen.
Pre-Plant Office (not to scale).
Adding plants is pretty easy, and really affordable.  Plants are everywhere.  Doctor Dawg's neighbor had three of them on his patio, and two of them on the front porch.  All waiting for a quick ride to our office.   And, after we took those, he was nice enough to buy us three more, leaving two on his deck and one on his front porch.  What a guy.

It works, too, while the moral around the office improved, Dr. Dawg's neighbor became increasingly depressed, and started to exhibit symptoms of paranoia, walking aimlessly around his patio, staring at the empty space.  It got so bad he quit buying plants for the office.  What a jerk.
Plants, first run. (nice, huh?).

Productivity took off, people were staying after hours to get things done.  Profits began to climb, and things were improving, measurably.

People were smiling, contented, actually engaging in conversations that didn't involve swearing, or threats.  We actually went tow weeks without having to call the emergency personnel.  And, when we did call them it was an accident, no really, an accident, not an "accident."  Even the medic told us how nice it was to not have a puncture wound, or gunshot.  He smiled when he left and said "for a change it is nice to see you guys.

It only stood to reason that if a few plants worked so well, imagine what a few more would do.  We began to smell the profits, and the potential explosion of IPO dollars.  It was intoxicating.

Plants = Profits (thank you, science).
We rented a delivery van, and drove through the wealthiest neighborhoods, grabbing potted plants, digging up flower gardens, even going so far as pulling up the sod from the country club.  We knew it would do no good, but we were mad with the sheer pleasure of the enterprise.

When people got to work the next morning it was like a jungle.  There were plants everywhere.  It was impossible to waitlk from the copier to the fax machine without brushing up against a brush, or two.

People loved it.  They had never been happier.  It was like a miracle.  People were beginning to love their job, and their co-workers.  Research and development was under budget, and ahead of schedule, salespeople were selling, the air almost sparkled with pleasantness, and cooperation.  It seemed too good to be true.

At our Monday morning planning meeting, Bob, from accounting, offered to run to the kitchen to refill the carafes.  Coffee tastes so much richer and more satisfying when served by a friend.

So long, Bob, (we are still waiting
for our coffee).
Shortly after walking out of the conference room, Bob shrieked, a blood curdling scream.  In that scream there was horror, a fear that was beyond reason, beyond measure.  And he never came back.

Our little office not only looked like a jungle, it had become a jungle.  All of those plants were the perfect habitat for large, hungry predators.  And, they were everywhere.  Soon, we were losing associates at an alarming rate.  It was terrible for morale.  Productivity really suffered, and we had rampant turnover.

We were force to remove all to the plants, and animals, and go back to the pre plant, unproductive office of the past.

We are going to be more careful about the studies we follow.  Sometimes these things don't work out so well.