Employee wellness can be hard to measure. What private health concerns does your staff care about the most? What kind of care can their company provide to address those concerns? How does an HR or chief wellness department benchmark success?
As attention to corporate wellness continues to catch on, more and more companies are turning to tangible tools to help them take better care of their employees. From apps and newsletters to talks and panels, there are many different ways to address these issues. But how do employees stand to benefit? And how is gardening really shaking things up?
The Rise of Tangible Wellness Tools
Twenty-five years ago, employees might be shocked to learn that their companies would one day be encouraging them to breathe deeply and meditate on a lunch break. But nonetheless, offices of 2022 are finding just that. Research has shown that a majority of employees (around 87%) are committed to finding wellness in the workplace. And corporations are paying attention: over one third of them have started some sort of corporate wellness initiative or program.
However, when it comes to finding scientifically-backed, tangible tools for promoting employee wellness, some companies are at a loss on how to proceed. Wellness apps and programs have become one of the first places to turn for corporations dipping their toes into the space. It’s one of the reasons that meditation app Calm’s valuation rose from $250 million to $2 billion over the space of just two years.
While apps and other virtual wellness programs are a great place to start, they don’t always get to the heart of employee wellness. With studies showing that screen time is directly correlated to anxiety and depression, linking our well-being and happiness to digital products might just be feeding into the larger issue. That’s where gardening comes in.
What Gardening Can Do for Corporate Wellness
Office gardening has become a rising trend among both small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. It’s a fully tangible, non-digital wellness activity with numerous benefits: employees get more fresh air each day, they are able to snack on delicious, locally-grown produce, the air around the office actually becomes cleaner. But one of the best parts of corporate gardening is how it brings staff together, uniting teams in a common goal that gets them away from the computer and into nature.
That newfound community is only enhanced by the incredible effects that gardening can have on individual health and wellness. Gardening has been clinically proven to lower anxiety and depression, increase confidence in people of all ages and benefit health holistically [link to Holistic Health Through Gardening]. It is also one of the few programs that is benchmarkable, with many different metrics that can be measured to determine success: was there a bountiful harvest? How many more minutes are employees spending outside each day? Did air quality improve? How would employees rate their anxiety before and after spending time in the garden?
If your company is interested in making gardening a wellness priority, Gardenuity’s Corporate Partnership program is the place to start. Our team tailors gardens and events to your particular business, helping your employees learn the basics while having the most fun they’ve ever had at work. Learn more about the program here.