There have been countless studies undertaken in recent years about the positives of having more greenery in the workplace. Humans have a natural desire to be connected with nature – we are all children of nature after all; humans and plants. This innate feeling has been dubbed ‘biophilia’ by scientists and it is affecting office design in a massive way.

A connection with nature, through office design

Being separate from the outside world, the workplace seals us off from that natural connection and instead creates an environment that is different from what we’re used to. Whilst in a way this helps to draw a line that the office ‘is a place of work’, that line does not have to be so bold – work often can cause stress, even sickness and pain; who wants to be reminded of that every day?

Would it not be better if that line was more fluid, allowing elements from the outside world, the environment where we feel comfortable and at peace, to enter? By introducing such an office design, a business can benefit immensely; in this blog, we’re going to look at how.

The positive effects of greenery in the workplace

Studies have demonstrated that adding some simple greenery with indoor plants can have positive benefits for employees and by extension, the companies they work for. Here are some great reasons why greenery would benefit any office design:

  • Increase in productivity. It's possible that more greenery in an office design could help to rise productivity levels. In 2014, research by the University of Exeter found that productivity rises by 15% when previously bare work environments are filled with a number of houseplants. With everyone able to see a plant from their desk, this helps to get them psychologically engaged with their surroundings, allowing them to feel happier in what they're producing and as a result, helping them to work better.
  • Reduces sickness and absence. So often the bane of many a workplace; how can you help your employees to feel well whilst at work, reducing the rate of work-affecting absences? Interestingly, a 2015 report by Human Spaces studied 7,600 office employees in 16 countries and found that almost two-thirds are working in environments that have no living plants. Those workplaces who did have plants reported a 15% higher rate of wellbeing, as well as 6% more productivity than those whose offices did not have such elements.
  • Creativity booster. The same report from Human Spaces in 2015 also found that employees whose workplaces included living plants as part their office design scored a 15% higher rate for creativity than offices that did not have such elements. But don't just take their word for it; attention restoration theory says that looking at nature (even just pictures of it) can help to shift the brain into a new mode of thinking, helping employees to imagine what the scene they're looking at is truly With it being nature, they can picture themselves there, in that calm oasis, having a pina colada in that beach bar or sat on top of that hill with green spaces spread out as far as the eye can see. This takes their mind away from potential stress and instead creates thoughts and feelings, boosting their on-the-spot creativity.
  • Cleanse the air. One of vital roles plants play in our world is to absorb carbon dioxide and combine it with water and light to produce energy, one of the by-products of this photosynthetic process is the release of oxygen into the environment. Enclosed in a small building, an office can often feel cramped and stuffy – living plants can help to cleanse the air of the chemicals that cause such feelings and replace it with oxygen, giving everyone room to breathe.
  • Noise reducers. It isn't just carbon dioxide that plants can absorb, they are also great at doing the same with off-putting noise too. Sound waves are refracted whenever they hit a physical barrier, being complex in their make-up, a plant (especially large, pot plants) offers a robust barrier for the sound to travel through.

Want to take advantage of greenery in your office space? Get in touch with the experts.

If you’re looking to reimagine your existing office design to set the ideal environment for your employees, to provide inspiration, boost confidence and raise productivity, why not consider biophilic design?

Here at Oaktree Interiors, we have a long and varied experience of creating bespoke workplaces for all manner of business operations; no matter the size or industry of your company, we can help you to achieve whatever your personals aims may be.

If you would like to learn more about how we are able to create the ideal natural office design for your company, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. You can call us on 0345 21 86955 or alternatively, you can send an e-mail to us at hello@oaktreeoffice.com

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