For more than 30 years the evidence has continued to grow, producing more and more positive facts about the benefits of plants.
There is no doubt that beautifully planted offices enhance our mood and are also a practical aid, especially in these post-pandemic times. Lush green walls filled with live plants or preserved moss can create protection as well as a feel-good factor. Using single potted plants to mark walkways for social distancing is even more effective than tape and of course they look great if they are well maintained.
In recent years, one of the common words to appear within this premise is biophilia. Simply put it means our innate need to connect with nature, taking us back to our roots – no pun intended. This can be as simple as views of nature from our workplace windows, not always feasible in large cities, to bringing nature into the workplace.
Biophilic design is not just about adding plants. It is the use of plants and other nature-inspired design elements with the intention of increasing wellbeing and physical and psychological comfort. Plants, however, are the best place to start.
Remember they also refresh the air and add humidity for comfort in your workspace.
Some of the best reasons to include plants in your working spaces are the fact that they improve productivity, concentration and creativity to the tune of 15%, 23% and 45% respectively. These figures will surely appeal to employers.
There is also evidence that plants in the workplace increase our sense of wellbeing by 50% which makes them more than worthwhile.
It is also well known that plants help to reduce stress and anxiety. Just being able to see plants from your desk can aid the reduction of stress levels. There are several research studies that have proved this; the most recent in Japan which found a small plant on a desk which the worker was allowed to care for reduced stress levels.
Noise whether it’s from other people’s phone calls or discussions can be really distracting and cause stress for some colleagues. Of course, break out areas or work pods can help to alleviate these problems but so can plants. Early research found that plants can absorb and deflect noise in busy offices.
Green screens which can be moved around can be used as sound barriers which can help to alleviate this problem.
As you can see, it is well recorded that having plants in your working space are good for you. Well maintained green plants are definitely worth the effort for all the benefits they bring.
Madeleine Evans is the Chair of plants@work, the association of interior landscapers
For more research see here.