When you think of office spaces, you probably imagine a fast-paced, urban environment with drab rooms and fluorescent lighting. Not exactly the most welcoming place to be, especially when you consider that the office environment can play a huge role in employee satisfaction, productivity, and even mental health.
Thankfully, companies are starting to take note and beginning to incorporate greenery into their office designs. This not only improves the space for the employees but can even help the planet, too.
One example of this is Amazon who recently opened ‘The Spheres’ at their Seattle headquarters. The three glass dome greenhouses let employees have access to nature during their workday, helping ‘inspire creativity and even improve brain function’, they explained on a company blog.
Of course, that’s not an option for the average workplace. Yet, a similar effect can be achieved simply by introducing more plants into the office.
If you are looking to make more of a statement, a green or living wall is a great way to go. These walls are covered with plants and flowers, totally transforming the look of any office and creating a brighter, more welcoming environment.
Regardless of how you choose to do it, there are plenty of long-term benefits to be had from making your office space greener:
Being surrounded by nature has been proven to improve concentration, reduce tiredness and drive productivity by around 20%.
An investigation into the reason why plants are a major driver of productivity suggests that it encourages more work involvement, making workers more physically, emotionally, and cognitively engaged in their work. On top of that, the presence of natural colours like greens, yellows, and browns can have a soothing effect also.
A good example of how this functions is coworking spaces, where they are best known for having hip, contemporary work designs that workers claim help them work better. When workers feel comfortable and positive, they can perform to the best of their abilities.
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Greenery can naturally contribute to the air quality, temperature, humidity and noise levels in an area. This improves the physical health of your employees and with plants lowering the temperature by as much as 10 degrees, it can even help you save on temperature regulation.
Being in a natural environment can also slowly encourage more people to find ways on how they can be more sustainable. Seeing plants and nature in the office can be a great way to get your employees engaged with sustainability and motivate them to do more in the workplace.
One unexplained phenomenon of nature is its ability to nourish positive relationships.
This may be attributed to plants having a relaxing impact on people, with the reduction of stress enabling them to build connections with others. The same seems to happen with green spaces in the workplace, resulting in a shift in work culture. It promotes a more open and collaborative environment, making it less hierarchical. This further improves employees’ engagement with one another and helps them work harmoniously together.
Greenery helps make offices look more like a creative, collective space for employees rather than feeling stuck in an enclosed place.
This means that the incorporation of green areas can directly improve staff wellbeing and mental health, with employees and clients alike now requesting workplaces with indoor plants and open green zone areas they can fully utilize.
This is especially the case if other design elements such as abundant light, natural materials and shapes, and water views are also incorporated in. It doesn’t even have to be inside the office. If you have the outdoor space, it can be moulded into an oasis that your employees can go to recharge themselves throughout the day.
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Showing that the comfort and well-being of your staff are at the forefront of your business helps in attracting and retaining the best talent, as workplace stress and general wellbeing have become a bigger focus over recent years.
With all the benefits greenery can bring, it’s a physical demonstration of your commitment to both your employees and to the planet. Of course, this isn’t just important for employees but for customers and clients too.
So, what are you waiting for? Why not start bringing nature into your workplace today?
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