How landscaping can improve mental health and your bottom line

When it comes to your business, whether you own a commercial, industrial, governmental or estate property, first impressions matter. If your building’s exterior looks unkept and unclean, this could send out the wrong message and your brand may be perceived incorrectly. However, if your building’s exterior is well-maintained and includes some kind of landscaping effort, this can increase the attractiveness and enticement of your storefront environment – and attract new and potential customers.

Commercial landscaping not only improves the overall curb appeal of a building, but can benefit the mood and mental health of all its customers and staff. Commercial landscaping can also help increase the property value and assist in the preservation of the surrounding environment.

With companies actively investing in commercial landscaping, we have seen ordinary business parks transform into beautiful oases through impressive landscaping projects, such as rooftop gardens, city parks, interior gardens (“plantscaping”) and backyard sanctuaries.

With landscaping considered expensive, why is it worth investing in? In this article, we will discuss the mental health, environmental and financial benefits landscaping can bring to your business, staff and premises.

Four Ways to Improve Mental Health Through Landscaping

According to the Annual Mental State of the World Report by Sapien Labs, South Africa scored the lowest average score on the mental health wellbeing scale, in 2021. The rate of distressed or struggling citizens on the population scale increased by 8%, from 28.5% in 2020 to 36%.

Based on in-depth research done by health practitioners around the world, spending time in a green space can have huge benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing. Here are the top four ways landscaping can improve the mental health of your customers and staff:

  1. Reduced Stress and Anxiety
    Access to green spaces, such as parks, gardens or plantscapes, have shown to reduce psychological distress, symptoms of depression, clinical anxiety and mood disorders in adults. According to Charlie Hall, AgriLife Extension horticulture and economics specialist: “Stress reduction and mental restoration occur when individuals live near green areas, have a view of vegetation or spend time in natural settings.”Customers do not always, overtly, notice the affects that their surroundings can have on their emotional wellbeing, but something as small as a tree or houseplant can improve their mental health. It has also been noted that employees working in a green environment are able to relax and focus; allowing them to work more effectively.
  1. Connecting to Nature and the Community
    People, generally, want to meet in places they not only find attractive, but also a place where they can feel secure. Having a welcoming and safe landscape on your commercial property allows customers and employees to feel more comfortable, engage with one another in informal settings or group activities and improve social interactions. This, in turn, can enhance staff productivity and increased foot traffic for your business.
  1. Improved Physical Health and Focus
    Studies have shown that being in and around nature can improve our mental wellbeing but, also, our physical health. Walking through a green space, surrounded by fresh air, allows you to connect with nature, relaxing your body and your mind. People who choose to exercise outdoors, rather than inside, have shown improvements in self-esteem and mood, based on a study by NLH. Additional benefits include improved focus and an ability to creatively solve problems.
  1. Boost Energy and Motivation
    Multiple psychological studies, from around the world, have linked exposure to nature with increased energy and a heightened sense of wellbeing. This goes above and beyond the physical effects of exercising outdoors and social interactions with people in outdoor spaces, but to enhancing our connection with nature. Being in nature can inspire a variety of positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, creativity and can facilitate concentration, which translates to happier individuals.

With the rise in stress factors affecting the entire populous and our workplaces, companies should consider curating beautiful and inviting green spaces within their business environments. This will aid in mental health for their employees and potential customers that are visiting their property.

Five Ways Landscaping Can Aid in the Preservation of the Environment

As cities continue to expand and encroach on nature, the effects of deforestation and climate change are becoming a harsher reality for all involved. By incorporating landscaping into cities, it not only improves the visual aspect of that metropolitan area, but provides an opportunity to preserve and protect the environment.

Most landscapers consider their impact on the environment with each project and aim to protect the environment through smart and sustainable designs, implementation and horticultural management methods. Here are five ways landscaping can aid in the preservation of the environment:

  1. Conservation of Resources
    Landscapers who utilise sustainable landscaping methods have found that, when they make full use of the environment, it creates a healthier and longer-lasting garden. By using sustainable landscaping methods, landscapers can reduce the number of resources required to setup and maintain a garden, such as water, tilling and fertiliser.
  1. Habitat Preservation
    Having green spaces, such as parks and gardens, play an integral role in preserving habitats and local ecological systems. An example could be made that by having a variety of native flora for your commercial property landscape, you can provide habitats for various wildlife, such as birds, bees and bugs, thus improving biodiversity in your local environment. This helps alleviate the loss of nature during property developments and restores some balance to the local ecosystem.
  1. Reducing Air Pollution
    Trees are amazing natural air purifiers, by storing carbon dioxide in their fibres and by going through a process called photosynthesis, they purify the air around them and reduce the negative effects of air pollution caused by growing populations and cities. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, in one year, a single tree can absorb more than 21.77KG of carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the atmosphere. Therefore, carefully planting trees within cities and commercial landscapes, with access to space, sunlight and water, can help reduce air pollution.
  1. Combating the “Heat Island” effect
    Cities have a tendency of running hot, with a concentration of people, vehicles, industrial machinery, buildings, etc., temperatures within a city can rise by 3°C to 10°C on average. Landscapers can utilise green spaces and trees to assist with combatting the “heat island” effect. How, you may ask? Well, trees are considered “nature’s air conditioners” and can help reduce these temperatures through a “cooling effect”. It has been proven that a backyard with trees, for example, can be 6°C cooler than a yard without trees.
  1. Reducing the Impact of Soil Erosion
    Soil erosion is a natural phenomenon that can cause serious damage to vegetation, landscapes, agriculture and property. Through the use of landscaping, erosion of the soil can be slowed or controlled by using plants, grass, ground cover, shrubs and, even, trees in carefully designated areas. Plants often bind soil together with their root systems, serving as a “protective layer” against heavy rain and wind which can help prevent soil erosion from impacting any natural space.

Quality landscapers must always prioritise the health of the environment in every project they work on. They need to be – and are – at the forefront of techniques and innovations relating to improved energy efficiency, water management, air pollution, environmental preservation and so much more.

Four Ways Landscaping Can Help Improve Your Bottom Line

Apart from the mental, social and environmental benefits that landscaping provides companies worldwide, landscaping done properly, can also provide financial benefits to a company. Let us take a look at four ways landscaping can help your business’s bottom line:

  1. Increase Potential Business and Tenants
    Similarly, to making a good first impression, you can improve your company’s image and desirability through good landscaping, which in turn, can help bring in new business. By creating a welcoming and attractive environment, landscaping can help influence potential customers decision to interact with your business and shows customers that you care for the environment, while projecting the best possible image of your business to the public. The same can be said for potential tenants who want to inquire about rental space within your commercial property.
  1. Improve Curb Appeal and Property Value
    According to property experts, you can increase the value of your property by up to 25% – above your original asking price – with good landscaping practices in place. Your outdoor space is an influential piece of real estate and having professional landscaping done can attract more potential buyers and accelerate the sales process. Landscaping in a city environment can also boost economic growth as it attracts tourists and visitors to the area.
  1. Reducing Energy and Water Usage Cost
    Sustainable landscaping design can incorporate the necessary elements to improve energy efficiency, in terms of reducing heating, as certain flora, such as trees and various shrubs, can bring a cooling affect that can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 30%. Landscapers also consider water management when planning their landscaping projects, to help reduce water consumption, by incorporating water collecting elements in conjunction with irrigation.
  1. Ensuring a Safe and Secure Environment
    Planning and implementing regular maintenance of your property’s landscapes and pathways, can help prevent employees and customers from being injured when walking to and from your building. By ensuring the sidewalks are clean, even and usable, tree branches and exposed roots are trimmed and outdoor features are well-maintained makes your workspace safer for everyone. Studies have shown that by improving the physical appearance of the surrounding environment can help create a positive business image and a sense of security for the inhabitants.

Investing and implementing the right kind of landscaping services for your commercial property can help you get on the right path with prospective clients or tenants. All the while, boosting your property value, reducing overhead costs and improving the safety and security of your work environment.

Conclusion

At LeafySpace, we provide our clients with world-class commercial landscaping and top-notch professional services. We hold a CIBD grading of 7SH, and with our highly skilled team, can help you create or upgrade your commercial property’s outdoor environment, that helps your bottom line and improve your company’s reputation.

Our horticultural specialists will work with you to determine the best layout and function of any new or existing natural spaces on your property, so that it best serves your customers and employees. Our installation team will bring the approved idea to life, in a timely manner and within budget, to ensure your customer satisfaction every step of the way.

So, what are you waiting for? Transform your outdoor spaces and create magical experiences for your customers and employees through amazing landscapes. Call us on +27 (0) 11 028 7635 or email us at info@leafyspace.co.za and let LeafySpace help you on your landscaping journey, today!

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