One of the latest trends in office interior design is using natural and organic elements. Gone are the days when office spaces looked stark, boring, and utilitarian. These days, designers are always looking for new solutions that will make office buildings more sustainable and ‘green’. Perhaps the simplest and most practical way to achieve this is by adding indoor plants.
Indoor plants not only add aesthetic appeal but will also benefit employees in the long run. Introducing plants to a workspace has many positive effects which will be discussed further below.
- Increased employee productivity
In 2014, a study was conducted by a psychologist at the University of Exeter. The study aimed to track how productive employees are before, during, and after plants were introduced in the workplace. At the conclusion of the study, it was found that employee productivity increased by an average of 15% in offices where there is a plant for every square metre of office space.
Moreover, the study also concluded that apart from increased productivity, employees also had a better attention span and memory retention. A simple way to introduce plants into a workplace is by adding a small potted plant in each desk.
- Improved air quality
Some people may not be aware of it, but indoor pollution is one of the primary risks that cause many health problems. A number of factors cause indoor air pollution. Furniture, chemical cleaning products, and dust all contribute to the deterioration of indoor air quality. When air circulated in an office is dirty, employees will get sick.
Plants are an effective deterrent to indoor air pollution. Some plant species are even capable of absorbing chemicals like formaldehyde.
Active living walls are an excellent example of introducing plants to an office space which has the added feature of actively filtering pollutants from the air. Compared with merely putting potted plants, an active living wall makes use of innovative technology to absorb air pollution and release clean air in a continuous cycle.
- Improve employee health and overall satisfaction
Employee health and well-being have a direct impact on their work satisfaction. Plants do not only improve the ambience of office space but are also linked to reducing stress. Employees that are healthier and more relaxed will be more hardworking, happy, and content in their jobs.
If putting potted plants on desks adds clutter to the workspace, an excellent option to introduce plants is by adding a large indoor plant or indoor tree. Large plants tend to be sturdier and require little maintenance.
Most modern workspaces today make use of plants not only as a design element but because plants have many positive benefits. As urban landscapes continue to encroach on green spaces, the best solution is to create ‘green spaces’ inside. Living walls and other ways of incorporating plants in workspaces are a trend that is likely going to continue in the coming years. With sustainability and ‘green architecture’ as a popular concept in design, we will see more offices transformed into green spaces with plants.
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