Long gone are the days when offices were seen as purely utilitarian spaces. Increasingly, office design is incorporating soft furnishings and other touches which help to make offices more pleasant places in which to spend time. Companies have also been incorporating greenery into their offices in the form of plants and other living materials. They’re a great way to boost productivity, improve office air quality and add some cheer to your office.
But it’s not just about strategically placed indoor plants that can have an impact. Living walls and roofs, courtyard gardens and the use of natural materials can all be used to create an office that feels softer and more natural.
So what are the benefits of having plants in your office?
Plants in Your Office Can Reduce the Number of Sick Days
Offices with stale air and poor ventilation can allow for so-called “sick-building syndrome” to develop. This can lead to symptoms such as nausea, problems concentrating, headaches and flu-like symptoms. By naturally filtering out toxins in the office environment, plants can improve the air quality. Better air quality results in a healthier environment overall.
Plants Can Increase Productivity and Creativity
Dr Chris Knight of Exeter University led a ten-year study that found that offices with little in the way of decor were counterproductive to productivity. If plants were added to those offices, staff productivity increased by 15%. This is because when employees engage with their surroundings they find it easier to concentrate and their output levels increase. It’s also been illustrated that plants can help to make people more creative. Different shapes, colours, textures and smells can also spark creativity.
Plants Can Reduce Stress
Workplace stress is sometimes unavoidable, but the office environment can play a key role in ensuring that stress is limited. Offices that incorporate plants have been shown to reduce the instances of depression, anxiety, fatigue and workplace conflict. Plants soften the environment, providing visual stimulus and mimicking some of the positive benefits of being outdoors in green spaces.
Plants Can Help Limit Noise
Plants, green walls and other living materials can help to soften an office space, cushioning noise and limiting its spread. By positioning larger plants on sharp edges, and near hard surfaces excess noise can be absorbed. This can be particularly helpful in open-plan offices, where noise can reach high levels creating a more stressful environment.
How to Incorporate Greenery Into Your Office
Flow work with companies that can help you create a greener environment. While buying some large plants and placing them strategically around your office is a start, you can go a lot further. We recommend Innerspace who can incorporate living foliage and flowers in your office on a large scale. We also recommend Plant Plan who specialises in office horticulture, helping to enhance commercial environments through indoor and outdoor planting, moss wall installations and floral displays.
Flow Office take a holistic approach to office design. Working with your company and our partners, we can help create an office that is as healthy and comfortable as it is functional.