Green up your office with nature’s very own stress busters!
Ever wonder why we feel better when we have plants in our office space?
It might seem confusing, but it’s pretty obvious – human beings are ‘designed’ for being close to nature. However with advancements of technology and our increasing engagement into the digital era we’ve started to forget our inherent nature. Being surrounded by plants and flowers creates a feeling of being in tune with your most natural self.
Plants are highly beneficial to the working environment and the people who use it. It’s a well-worn fact but true none the less. It can be as little as having a small plant at your desk to large specimens at the entrance and corridors to give the workspace a homely feeling – we just feel better when surrounded by these green silent buddies of ours!
Here are some of the reasons why your workspace needs a planting scheme:
1. Instant mood boost!
They are attractive to look at, and since we all love anything that is pleasing to the eye, plants in your office space will do wonders for you and your staff. It adds to the aesthetics of the office’s environment. If anyone is having a bad day, when they look at beautiful flowers on their desk, in vases or in pots in the corridor, it brightens their mood and attitude! This, in turn, increases their productivity.
There have been many studies which support the fact that indoor plants at offices make a huge difference in an employee’s efficiency. A study at Exeter University concluded after researching on this issue for 10 years that the productivity of employees increased by 15% when the workplaces had indoor planting schemes.
They say that if you put a gorilla in a cage or an ant in a jar, they turn out to be miserable creatures. The same goes for humans! The more plants at the office, the more positive the environment.
2. Conserve all that energy
One of the most highlighted issues in urban planning is conserving energy. The energy crisis has been the most discussed and debated issue over the last few years. One of the ways we can save energy is by having rooftop gardens on office buildings.
Urban Heat Island (UHI) is a term created after it was noted that the buildings in the cities or any major urban area made of concrete form a layer of heat on their surface. Concrete absorbs heat faster than plants; therefore, it produces a lot of heat in the living and working spaces, making people use air conditioners more.
This greatly increases the usage of electricity and consequently energy bills. The case is the same in winter, when concrete becomes so cold that people have to use heaters a lot. By having a rooftop garden, you can greatly reduce energy consumption as the insulation and the heat and cold absorbency of plants causes them to retain the heat/cold. A rooftop garden can also be a great place to have meetings, lunches/dinners, parties and other corporate events.
3. Increases property value
According to real estate agents, a rooftop garden increases a commercial property’s value by up to 20%. It also serves to show that you take your office space seriously and care about the environment your employees work in.
4. Reducing the carbon footprint
This reduces the company’s carbon footprint and lets others know that you support sustainable living and working environments and contribute to the ecosystem. Being an environmentally-friendly company adds to the credibility and reputation, making people trust you more and recognise you support green activism.
5. Reduces noise and stress
Since they are pleasing to look at, this in turn reduces stress. Office plants clean the air, making the workers feel healthier.
Plants are frequently used on motorways to reduce noise pollution. By the same concept, keeping plants in the office space can change the acoustics of the room by reducing their reverberation time.
If they are placed on surfaces such as hardwood floors, marble walls or concrete, they can absorb the noises that could cause distractions to employees and decrease their productivity.
The ‘Sick Building Syndrome’ is a term which is used for offices where there is less exchange of fresh air, high exposure to toxins and where paints and other chemicals, such as aerosol sprays, are used which cause people to often get sick. So, if there are plants around to absorb the carbon dioxide, there would be a lesser number of people who will call in sick as well.