Why you NEED plants in your workplace


BY TESS ROBINSON, SMACK BANG DESIGNS

Smack bang designs studio

I once went to a meeting to a corporate office to talk about a new project. Not only was I a little underdressed in my ripped jeans and t-shirt (you’ve never seen so many power suits in one room!), I was also verrrry underwhelmed with their attempt to bring some greenery into their office. There, on the wall of their stale, fish bowl boardroom were three canvas prints of oversaturated leaves. And my friends, that was the extent of it. No real life plants whatsoever. Even a plastic, dust-covered number from K-mart would have been a welcome addition. Let me tell you, nobody is feeling any more zen in that boardroom from those canvas prints.
But you know what, this business isn’t alone in its inability to source/not-kill/style/understand the value of indoor plants. I’m here with a quick five reasons why you NEED to get some greenery into your space asap (and sorry, but a canvas print doesn’t count!).

PRODUCTIVITY PLUS
A 2004 Study by Washington State University found that students working in a computer lab containing plants were 12% more efficient than students having a crack at the same tasks in a room that was completely foliage-free. The blood pressure level of the students in the “green” lab were also lower. Who doesn’t want to be more productive and at the same time, less stressed!

SAYONARA STRESS
For some people, plants in the workplace help reduce stress. The natural look of the plants provides a comfortable, relaxing touch to the office. When a person is less stressed, she/he is better able to handle her/his workplace duties. The lowered stress through the use of plants may increase an employee’s productivity and job satisfaction. Your workplace will demand a great deal of your time, and a substantial portion of your waking hours, so make it a space where you want to actually be. It is key to acknowledge the relation between a positive work environment and staff morale, so don’t even think for one second that a sea of same same and miserable monochrome will get the best out of you or your team.

QUALITY CONTROL
The clean-green-plant-machines constantly work to purify the air around you. They absorb nasty pollutants and provide clean air, improving the quality of the air within the office. Plants that work particularly hard at creating a healthier workspace are English ivy, spider plant, bamboo palm, philodendron, weeping fig and dracaena.

COMFORT ZONE
Plants add moisture to the air and lower the temperature slightly. According to a study from Washington State University, plants can bring the humidity level of an office environment to match the recommended comfort range of 30% to 60%. With greenery present, employees feel more comfortable and at ease in the workspace. No more super battling with the office aircon!

IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
Despite popular opinion, indoor plants aren’t that high maintenance friend you have to remember to call at least once a week or world war three erupts. They’re more of the long-life friend who’s OK with a monthly dinner, the occasional text and the knowledge that you understand them. Knowing your space and what will/won’t work indoors is key to keeping things green (and not brown).

Not sure where to start?

Have a read here for a guide on indoor plants, and here to stock up on some green beauties.

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