Bringing farming into the workplace: one company’s vision for office wellbeing
Square Mile Farms install farms and other productive green spaces in or around the workplace which range from edible living walls to hydroponic towers in the workspace.
1 July 2020
Large companies tend to offer a range of perks to their employees within their corporate offices to help create a work-life balance within the office and to also assist in improving their employees’ wellbeing.
Perks can range from free yoga studios to free food and snacks. Investment in employee wellbeing can result in greater returns for the employer due to increased dedication and loyalty to the company, increased productivity, and increased attractiveness as a company to work for.
When it comes to employee wellbeing, Square Mile Farms is doing something just a little different: bringing farming into the workplace.
According to a Human Spaces Report, working in an environment that incorporates natural elements increases employee wellbeing by around 15% compared to those who work in environments lacking in nature. Reports also indicate that 47% of workers receive no natural light and 58% have no natural greenery.
Square Mile Farms is capitalising on these findings by designing and installing vertical farms within workplaces in London. Not only does this approach offer a highly-visible, attractive green space, but it also provides a source of fresh food directly inside the office.
The company’s vertical farming offering aims to:
- Improve the office working environment and air quality.
- Provide a highly-visible wellbeing service to employees.
- Attract and retain top new talent to the company.
- Engage employees and foster a sense of community and empowerment.
- Demonstrate sustainability credentials with green leafy spaces.
- Give back to staff and the local community by providing fresh, local food.
Square Mile Farms’s controlled environment farming combines centuries-old hydroponic growing techniques with modern lighting and sensor technologies to create a perfectly controlled environment in which to grow leafy greens and herbs.
As well as installing the farms they also offer a managed service, whereby they maintain, harvest, and distribute the produce of your farm as well as involve the company’s employees in activities such as planting and harvesting.
Why bring vertical farming into the workplace?
The workplace is changing. Employees expect their employer to have their wellbeing in mind, while also demonstrating their commitment to the local community and the environment.
Urban farming has been shown to remedy issues that affect the wellbeing of urban populations, such as air pollution, poor diet, physical inactivity, depression, and anxiety. Its introduction to the workplace offers the opportunity for businesses to re-imagine the working environment and offer a wellbeing service with a difference to their employees whilst demonstrating their sustainability credentials.
As the office environment evolves and companies continue to seek new ways to attract top-talent and keep their employees’ wellbeing in mind, companies like Square Mile Farms are poised to benefit by offering a unique way to improve employees’ health and well-being through reconnecting to nature.