Office greenery - a feeling of well-being
Nature has been an important inspiration in the contemporary design. Why?
Although most of us live in cities and spend more and more time in enclosed
areas, nature still plays an important role in our lives. Modern science does
confirm the words said by Hippocrates, the founder of medicine, that “natural
forces are the true healers of disease”, and the contact with nature is a
prerequisite for our physical and mental health. We often treat plants present in office interiors only as decorative
elements, however, their significance goes much beyond that. Nowadays, plants
are an integral element of arranging areas to work, study and cure. Thanks to
greenery, we are healthier and simply … happier.
How plants affect us?
The effect of plants on people has been researched by, among others, NASA American Space Center. The tests have shown that very few plants (e.g. 3 small or 2 bigger ones per person) are sufficient to significantly improve the quality of air in a room. According to other researchers, plants can contribute to the increase in work efficiency or even creativity of employees. Thanks to the presence of plants around us, our ability to concentrate and our memory retention can increase even up to 20% (acc. to University of Michigan study).
Plants are effective in several ways because they can:
- improve their air quality: plants reduce carbon dioxide levels, increase the oxygen content and reduce the quantity of harmful chemical and organic compounds in the air. As a result, we experience fewer headaches and breathing problems - especially people who are prone to allergies.
- maintain the right level of humidity in the room, which helps to reduce the frequency of incidents of dry skin, common cold, sore throat dry cough, as well as to inactivate flu virus.
- lower the noise level, which is very harmful to human health.
- reduce stress and permanents fatigue levels, which has a calming effect on our nervous system.
- have a relaxing effect on our eyes, because looking at plants us happy and has a soothing effect on our eyes. That is why, it is advisable to place plants close to computer screens.
Office interior landscaping
Some offices in their design imitate the natural space by using gentle, organic shapes of furniture or walls, natural materials (wood), sometimes real trees or patches of natural or artificial grass, too. Neuropsychologists believe that organic shapes and colours of nature have a positive influence on our brain. Despite the technological advancement, we are still closely attached to the world of nature.
Pot plants and plant stands
The triumphant return of plants to interior environments has brought about various new ideas how to display plants at home and in the office. Plants can be put in traditional or large and scaled pots. An interesting solution is putting plants in suspended containers or felt pockets, which we could hang, for example, on the wall. We can observe a come-back of plant stands, a little bit forgotten previously. Finally, hybrid furniture has emerged – skilfully combining functions of plant stands and furniture. Even the simplest solution will be better than having absolutely no plants in the interiors.
In the recent years green walls, made of plants or moss, have enjoyed a great popularity in offices. It is rather a high budget solution, but it will soon deliver many tangible benefits. Green walls usually have an irrigation and plant nutrition system. They are planted either in the soil or they are hydroponic (i.e. soil-less) systems. Not only do they look attractive by introducing the world of nature inside, but they can naturally cool buildings in summer and maintain a healthy level of air humidity.
Patios, terraces, plants around buildings
Designers also pay attention to the areas around buildings. Green patios, terraces or mini parks are created, where employees could take a break, stroll or “attend walking meetings”, which have become so popular lately. Those enclaves of greenery act as “therapeutic gardens” (hortitherapy), which are established around medical facilities. Studies show that those green places can have an excellent effect on people, they can lower blood pressure, calm down, ease pain and speed recovery processes. Furthermore, some new ideas appear envisioning employees who would start growing edible plants on roofs of office buildings, for example. All that is being done so that we would live and work more efficiently.
Plants recommended for offices:
- English Ivy - Hedera helix
- Mass Cane - Dracaena fragrans
- Snake Plant - Sasseviera trifasciata
- Chamaedorea elegans
- Philodendron elegans
- Peace Lily - Spathiphyllum floribundum
- Aloe - Aloe vera
- Boston Fern - Nephrolepis exaltat
- Spider Plant - Chlorophytum comosum
- Fern - Nefrolepis
For more information please visit:
UK-GBC 2014 report :
TEDx on significance of plants in offices: