Greenery in offices for a healthy work environment
The green office is a recent trend and means more than just environmentally friendly materials or energy-saving lightbulbs. In fact, the greenest element in the office is living plants, which help to enliven the interior and make the space appear more pleasant.
One popular element are green walls, which complement the look of the office much more impressively and vividly than just hanging paintings. But plants have more than just a beneficial effect on our aesthetic sensibilities. By properly placing live plants in the office you will not only improve the working environment, but also achieve many useful and practical effects.
A healthier environment
Plants can filter toxins from the air and significantly improve the quality of the air that employees inhale.
A higher number of living plants in the interior therefore leads to less illness among office workers. Research shows that in well-ventilated rooms plants can reduce
the carbon dioxide content of the air by about 10% and in poorly ventilated rooms by up to 25%. The psychological effect also should not be neglected.
In objective air measurements, an office with plenty of plants can sometimes have the same results as an office without plants. But the mere feeling of fresh air can improve mood and thus the body's defences.
Elegantly separated space
Open space offices are no longer just a bunch of tightly packed desks with a minimum of privacy. Companies are trying to divide the space more optically and allow employees to operationally adjust their jobs to current needs. In addition to partitions or screens, plants can also be placed in an open office, which will create separate sections for teams or individual employees.
Of course, the plants used to separate the space also have health benefits and are visually interesting.
The relatively easy to care for snake plant is ideal for dividing space. Palm trees, which seem like the ideal choice, are often too maintenance intensive. In any case, with plenty of live plants as a dividing element, the proper maintenance of greenery must not be underestimated and should be entrusted to professionals.
According to a 2014 study conducted at the University of Exeter, natural elements in the office can increase employee productivity by up to 15%. Why is that so? Mainly by improving attention spans. A boring and lifeless office is a killer of productive thinking because our brains need
a stimulating environment that allows us to draw mental energy.
A brief look at an office covered with live plants has
a relaxing effect and allows our minds to work at higher speeds. In addition to overall productivity, plants also have a positive impact on creativity. The interesting colours, shapes and scents of plants increase the variability of office space, thanks to which our minds more easily come up with innovative and original ideas.
A more energy-efficient office
Plants have a significant effect on the temperature and humidity of the indoor air. Increased humidity helps to prevent the spread of diseases due to the drying of the nasal mucosa, which occurs when the humidity of the interior falls below 20%. Properly selected plants can then cool the interior by up to several degrees (especially larger plants or even trees).
This does not mean that a trip to the florist can replace the purchase of a quality air-conditioner and air filtration system, which
is now essential for maintaining a healthy work environment and fighting viruses. However, higher plant involvement can clearly reduce the energy intensity of air-conditioning and is a cost-effective step towards improving energy management. This is also evidenced
by Well certification.
Reduced stress levels
Acoustics in the office are an aspect that is sometimes overlooked. In fact, this is a factor that we should not underestimate, because an interior whose acoustics have been incorrectly designed can lead to a higher level
of stress for employees. Plants absorb the noise of the office, the negative effects of which gradually accumulate on the psyche. Constant twittering in the background
is not only an assault on our ears but also contributes
to the feeling of a loss of privacy.
Live plants located in the corners and edges of the room can decrease basal noise in the office, thus reducing one of the main sources of office stress. A quieter environment means better concentration, less anxiety and a lower incidence of depression or burnout. In short, living plants certainly have a deserved place in the office and should be considered in the initial designs and not just as an accessory that will come after all the other elements.