It’s been a strange year. Many people have spent more time at home than ever before and working from the kitchen table has become the new norm. However, remote working comes with its own challenges. It can be disruptive and isolating and it has been difficult for many employers to stay connected with their staff.
That’s why, for many businesses, an eventual return to the office is at the top of the agenda. Now is the perfect time to begin planning that transition back to the office and to consider how to improve the old working environment.
And, one easy solution, is to incorporate plants and living walls.
Why plants are important for the workplace?
You may have heard the word ‘biophilia’ before. This work encapsulates the need, as humans, to connect with nature. You may sometimes feel the urge to go on a long stroll in the country, or stand bare-feet amongst the flowers and grass of your local park. This is biophilia and it’s vital for your employee’s overall wellbeing.
And, it’s not just personal health that needs to be considered. With a growing threat to the planet through climate change and rising greenhouse gasses, plants play a detrimental role in ensuring a healthy balance of co2.
How should you introduce nature into the office?
With an increase in urbanisation and many people working in built-up city areas, it’s important the natural world is kept within easy reach. It has long been known that plants can decrease stress and provide employees with a better working experience. Take the Norwegian study in 1995 that showed multiple benefits for indoor plants in the workplace. These include a promoted sense of wellbeing and improved atmosphere.
A few simple adjustments could be all you need to bring nature into the office. Whether you introduce a collection of pot plants, install a small living wall or invest in biophilic design, there are lots of ways you can bring nature into your business.
Indoor plants are a fantastic way to prepare for a biophilia-minded return-to-work. Smartscape offer a range of greening options, not just large-scale living walls, but full interior planting assessments and designs which incorporate functional horticultural content into your building. These bespoke collections will add a little piece of nature into any neglected office space and give employees a green boost throughout the day.
Interior landscaping is no longer limited to the traditional pot plants. We can now introduce plants on all vertical surfaces too, enabling us to create living columns, living walls, wall sections within mobile planters for screening as well as living ceilings. The interior landscaping options are extensive and with our new techniques it allows us to incorporate plants from floors to ceilings.
If you don’t want to clutter up desk space with potted plants, consider installing a living wall into your office. These vibrant and luscious displays will bring a fresh and healthy addition to your office. It will not only allow your employees to get that little bit closer to nature, but add extra sound-proofing from the busy streets outside and increase air quality in the workplace.
Living walls offer a solution to the complicated issue of biophilic design. It means that whatever size office or workspace you have, a custom-fit living wall can be made to suit you. This includes everything from the initial design assessment, all the way to the final installation and subsequent maintenance of your wall.
What’s more, installing living walls around the office will help to gently enforce social distancing as per the government guidelines. By breaking up the room with plant displays and traditional potted plants, you can indicate the two-meter distance with which people should be standing and sitting away from each other.
In conclusion, it is now, more important than ever, that companies need to consider the importance nature plays in their employee’s day-to-day lives. And, what better time to start planning a green and biophilic return-to-work?