Many people work in an office every day, which can be counter-intuitive to a healthy lifestyle. Reclaim your space, improve productivity and live healthier by adding natural, living elements to your workspace. Whether it’s a desk plant, an office with a view, or an indoor atrium, the benefits of natural elements in the workplace are plentiful and interconnected.
Think about it. Plants provide us with food, shelter, and oxygen. We need them to survive. This deep biological connection with nature is undeniable, and it is no surprise that the Human Spaces Global Report found that “workers in office environments with natural elements such as greenery and sunlight report a 15% higher level of well-being”. German-born American psychoanalyst, Erich Fromm used the term biophilia to describe our emotional bond with nature as “the passionate love of life and of all that is alive.” Our emotional well-being and happiness is one area where plants can impact our health. They also offer a natural, calming effect that subconsciously influences our levels of stress. In the UK, Helen Russell’s study at the University of Sussex discovered that people who work in spaces with plants recover faster from stress.
In addition to the emotional benefits, plants support our physical health by removing harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that are present in the workplace. VOCs lead to several health-related problems such as fatigue, headaches, coughs, sore throats and skin irritations. A 2-year study conducted across 51 offices revealed that plants in the workplace reduced fatigue by 20%, headaches by 30%, coughs by 40%, sore throats by 30% and dry skin by 25%. Another study found that absence due to sickness declined by 60% in offices with plants!
At the end of the day, it all comes down to productivity. The addition of plants to the workplace has emotional and physical benefits that combine with improved concentration and focus. Research shows that carbon dioxide levels may be reduced by 10-25% with the use of plants in the office, which induces concentration and alertness.
As the world becomes denser and more built, it becomes increasingly difficult to find a way to disconnect from mechanical spaces. The addition of natural elements, such as a living wall or indoor planting, offers an escape. Let your employees reap the benefits of the outdoors, indoors.
With over 40 years of experience, John Mini Distinctive Landscapes designs, constructs, and maintains indoor, outdoor, and holiday landscapes for corporate and commercial clients in the NY, NJ and CT Tri-State area. They use their passion for plants to create comfortable and inspiring spaces that fulfill our biophilic needs and enhance our overall health and well-being.
The Effect of Interior Planting on Stress by Helen Russell: Surrey University
Source: Fjeld, T., et al. "Effect of Indoor Foliage Plants on Health and Discomfort Symptoms Among Office Workers"
Fjeld T, 2002, The effects of plants and artificial light on the well-being and health of office workers, school children and health-care personnel, Proceedings of International Plants for People Symposium, Floriade Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, Edinburgh, Scotland, P. Carrer, D. Alcini and D. Cavello, 1999, Vol. 1, 129-134. Tarran, J, Orwell, R, Burchett, M, 2007. Proceedings of 6th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality, Ventilation & Energy Conservation-Sustainable Built Environment, Sendai, Japan, Oct. Vol. III, pp 249-256.