Office Plants: Bringing the Outdoors to Work
INC.com recently featured an intriguing article on humans’ profound and innate connection with nature and the effects of the modern office. As buildings and offices have become increasingly modern and advanced, they have simultaneously decreased in the number of natural elements included indoors. Employees are now starting to feel the effects of their artificial environment in negative ways, such as lower productivity rates, lower energy levels, and a general disruption in mood balance.
These negative effects can be subsided by introducing biophilic design to your office. This doesn’t mean that you have to totally redesign your office space either. In many cases, simple changes and additions have the ability to significantly transform your office environment.
Here are a few ideas for increasing employee morale and raising productivity rates from the article:
- Try adding plants and greenery around the office. Plants and green walls have the incredible ability to increase oxygen levels while filtering out airborne toxins in indoor spaces. The most common of these toxins are volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) which can be found in common office products, such as copy machines, wood products, cleaning agents, and even carpeting. Plants can also act as natural sound barriers to help absorb noises that can be distracting or negatively affect productivity.
- Give your employees the gift of a desk plant. Not only are they healthy to have around, indoor plants are also a source of stress relief and are pleasing to the eye.
- Are you lacking on space in your office? Have a plant wall installed! Living walls are able to bring the feeling of the outdoors inside without taking up too much space. They may even help employees who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
- Mimic the look of nature by using natural materials, such as stone, wood, and water, around the office. Reclaimed wood floors and water fountains are a great way to bring the feel of the outdoors inside.
- If you offer a fitness perk in your office, try making it available outdoors or in spaces that stimulate natural activity.
As human beings, we are drawn to and positively affected by nature. By providing employees with a biophilic working environment, they will be happier, healthier, and more productive.