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Green offices and the power of plants


75% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water – plants dominate the rest. NASA’s map, compiled by satellite images, shows just how lush the planet is outside arid desert areas. Yet, our everyday working environments are usually devoid of any greenery – despite the fact that our species evolved, for the most part, in a far greener environment. Creating green offices is important not just to make our workspaces more attractive – stationery suppliers included! – but also to make the place we spend the majority of our week healthier.

Plants aren’t a luxury, but a basic requirement for being productive.

Plants make you happier, more productive and more creative. Fact. Ten years of research conducted by the University of Exeter and four other universities across the world discovered that “lean” workspaces (think, prison décor) are the most toxic environments for a human being to work and exist in. In their study they found that to boost productivity by 15%, all you have to do is to make sure that everyone in the office can see a plant from where they’re sitting. If you’re able to fill your office with a plant per square metre, even better.

Plants clean the air, as well as make us more creative.

An infographic produced by interior landscapers Ambius supports these findings. Not only are people more productive in green offices, they generate up to 15% more ideas than those working in a drabber environment – further proof that plants make you more creative. They can also help lower blood pressure and decrease the rate of absenteeism from 15% to 5%. Not only that, plants remove harmful toxins from the air and help maintain the ideal humidity level (30-50%) for us humans to live in.

All manner of mental illness can be alleviated with a few plants.

Green offices that are filled with plants can also do wonders for your mental health. The University of Technology Sydney’s research into green offices found that plants reduce anxiety levels by 30%, diminish depression by 58%, alleviate anger by 44% and flatten fatigue by 38%. Investing in plants will give you a happier workforce – and it goes without saying that a happier and healthier workforce is a more productive one.

Reduce unwanted noise levels with a hedge, not dividers.

Green offices also help solve another perennial office problem – noise. Ditch the despotic dividers and opt for hedgerows instead. Yes, you read that right – a small plant hedge in your office will reduce noise levels by up to five decibels, the University of Vermont found in their study. Who wouldn’t enjoy working in the full splendour of a garden, without having to swat away the flies?

It’s important to choose the right plants for your office environment.

So you’re ready to head to Stodels and stock up on plants to turn your office into a green office. Before you do so, there are a few things to consider. Make sure you choose plants that are well suited to your location’s climate, the amount of sun your office gets during the day and whether there’s someone in the office to water the plants regularly. The nursery you buy your plants from will be able to advise you about the best ones to buy. Remember to remain diligent about caring for your greenery – they’re living things, after all.

Still stuck choosing the right plants? NASA or an interior landscaper can help.

Plants like succulents, cacti, spider plants and aloes are ideal candidates for greening your office with minimal maintenance. Depending on what kinds of toxins are rife in your workplace, you can select your green specimens depending on what bad stuff they suck from the air. Again, NASA has come to the rescue with their Guide to Air Filtering Houseplants, published on Love the Garden. If you’ve got a bit of budget to spare, you could enlist the help of interior landscapers Ambius, who have experience cultivating green offices all over the world.

We might be a stationery supplier that deals in paper, but we still appreciate the value that plants bring to the workplace. If you’d like more wisdom from this stationery supplier about creating workspaces you and your employees will love, contact us today.

Image Credit: office-removals.co.uk

David Adams
18 December 2019