Office Greening: A Necessity or Luxury?
Office Greening: A Necessity or Luxury?
Post written by Paragon Interiors   September 12, 2019

Are you of the opinion that a plant here and there should do the trick, keep everyone happy to commune with nature and all that malarkey? Or, perhaps a spot of green in a sea of desks and computers would signify where marketing ends, and accounting begins?

You’ve missed the point.

Here’s the thing. The colour green engenders feelings of wellbeing and relaxation.

Style and trend-driven office interiors are now looking at employee wellness and sustainability more seriously. When one considers the UN forecast that 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050, the need to integrate nature into our cities and offices becomes ever more pressing. Essentially, greening integrates work with life.

Research has proven that office greening has a powerful subliminal influence on employee wellbeing and performance. A study undertaken by the University of Technology in Sydney states that an office with colourful plants appears more calming and relaxing and the impact on employees is more positive than one might assume:

  • Tension and anxiety reduced by 37%
  • Depression and dejection reduced by 58%
  • Anger and hostility reduced by 44%
  • Fatigue reduced by 38%

There’s more.

Cognitive tasks, concentration and focus improved so that employees made fewer mistakes and were able to complete tasks faster. The study attributed the increase in productivity to a decrease in carbon dioxide since plants are wired to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen.

Office greening enhances air purity and gives employees cleaner air to breathe. Apparently, a ratio of one plant per three employees is recommended to improve air quality and reduce the physiological effects of dust, bacteria and mould. They also help filter manmade pollutants like plastics, paint, carpets and cleaning materials. Allergies caused by the presence of these various irritants can trigger maladies like hay fever. Sniffing, sneezing and coughing are an unwelcome and unhygienic distraction and every unnecessary distraction is a sliver of productivity down the drain.

Greening also assists with humidity control. Poor humidity precipitates dehydration and the likelihood that employees will experience discomfort like dry skin, scratchy eyes, fatigue and poor concentration increases. It also helps moderate ambient noise by reducing the amount of time sound reverberates in a room so that employees can concentrate better.

Moreover, plants can boost creativity by as much as 15% – a real bonus when it comes to sharing ideas and solving problems. There’s no telling what clear thinking, inspired minds can produce!

Illness and absenteeism become less of a problem when employees love their surroundings and if they love their surroundings, chances are visiting clients will, too. Offices that exemplify office greening can become a real WOW factor. You want your office to appear more welcoming and relaxed, it’s an advantageous state of mind when doing business! It also gives the impression of a nurturing company that is skilled at helping things thrive.

Plant walls and screens have their place for all the reasons already covered. They’re hugely eye catching but they come at a cost – you need a lot of plants! They can be labour-intensive as the soil must be kept intact and off the floor, they need to be watered and replaced when they die. Still, a small price to pay for a spectacular and wellness-fostering feature.

If it’s time to reassess your greening philosophy and effect some changes, please give us a call.

Sources: nortech.org.au / greenlifeindustry.com.au / Nursery and Garden Industry, Australia (July 2010, Issue 6) 1/ bebee.com / solidgreen.co.za / Naturahq.com