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6. SUMMARIZE WRITTEN TEXT
6.33 Plants research
Plants serve as the conduit of energy into the biosphere, provide food and materials used by humans, and they shape our environment. According to Ehrhardt and Frommer, the three major challenges facing humanity in our time are food, energy, and environmental degradation. All three are plant related.
All of our food is produced by plants, either directly or indirectly via animals that eat them. Plants are a source of energy production. And they are intimately involved in climate change and a major factor in a variety of environmental concerns, including agricultural expansion and its impact on habitat destruction and waterway pollution.
What’s more, none of these issues are independent of each other. Climate change places additional stresses on the food supply and on various habitats. So, plant research is instrumental in addressing all of these problems and moving into the future. For plant research to move significantly forward, Ehrhardt and Former say technological development is critical, both to test existing hypotheses and to gain new information and generate fresh hypotheses. If we are to make headway in understanding how these essential organisms function and build the foundation for a sustainable future, then we need to apply the most advanced technologies available to the study of plant life, they say.
6.34 Office environment
The notion that office space has a role in promoting or inhibiting performance is backed up by solid research. A recent study conducted by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital showed that improvements to the physical surroundings of workers impacted on productivity not just because the working environment was more attractive, but because the changes made employees feel cared for. A Swedish research paper revealed a strong link between the type of office an employee worked in and their overall job satisfaction and health. Various findings have emerged as a result of studies such as this. Pot plants and greenery can apparently have a real impact on psychological well-being. Those who work in a private room tend to be in better health than workers based in open-plan offices.
Sufficient light can reduce sickness among workers and increase productivity, and an attractive office can make workers feel more cared for and therefore more loyal to their company. Most of these points make good rational sense. But some companies aren’t content simply to increase the health , productivity and contentment of their employees. Pioneers such as Google, Walt Disney and Dyson have tried to create offices that will do everything from promoting collaboration between workers to stimulating their creative juices. “Environment, both physical and cultural, can make or break creativity.” says Kursty Groves, author of I Wish I Worked There! A look inside the most creative spaces in business. Stimulating spaces expose the mind to a variety of stimuli - planned or random - In order to encourage people to think differently. Reflective spaces promote the filtering of information into the brain slowing it to make connections. An environment which encourages a team to build trust and to play freely is an essential ingredient for innovation.