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How Can Interior Planting Make a Difference to My Office?

Written by: phs Greenleaf

Plants increase attention, performance and joy. Fact! These are also key attributes for any successful premises where customers enjoy visiting just as much as employees enjoy working. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why interior planting should be part of every office’s design.

Research by Plants@Work (previously efig) actually indicates that greenery can improve our focus by 30%, raise productivity by up to 38% and make us 58% happier. And it isn’t just about the staff. The look and feel of an office can have a huge impact on the purchasing decision of any visitors.

If these aren’t enough reasons to install interior planting in your premises, there are plenty of other benefits.

The Lean, Green O2 Machine

The dreadful reports we hear about the planned and unplanned destruction of the world’s rainforests has highlighted the role that trees and plants play in our ecosystem – absorbing CO2 and other harmful elements, producing oxygen and  preserving water cycles. This can happen on a smaller scale by using interior planting in an office.

As well as CO2, plants also absorb irritants from the air, such as dust, pollen, fungal spores and bacteria by breaking them down to use for their own growth. Items within the office environment are sources of potentially harmful substances too, such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Photocopiers, printers and PC screens generate formaldehyde, benzene, trichlorethylene, xylene and other chemical compounds that have been linked to cancer and blood conditions. These can be absorbed by plants with certain varieties, like Sansevieria (Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue) and Ficus (Weeping Fig) being particularly good at this process.

The installation of plants is especially beneficial in offices where the building is sealed for energy efficiency and air condition is heavily utilised. In these circumstances in particular, raised humidity levels created by plants can help anyone with breathing conditions, such as asthma, as well as generally reducing the possibility of dehydration for all staff and visitors. This can lead to the reduced incidence of headaches, sore throats and lethargy, therefore enhancing productivity and making for a more pleasant working atmosphere.

This feeling of better general wellbeing has been reported by employees throughout offices which have taken the opportunity to strategically plant. Worrying less about their health improves staff members’ morale and concentration levels, often leading to positive outcomes, such as a reported boost in creativity of 45%.

All of this is a direct reason for the reduction of absenteeism seen in premises where plants have been installed – just one plant per three people can make a difference.

Turn Over a New Leaf

Well-maintained plants can be usefully integrated into the office design to create valuable and practical features. Our biophilic tendencies – that is a human’s normal attraction to nature and other forms of life – can be used to draw us into specific areas or generally attract staff and visitors to an office space that is perceived to be pleasant and comfortable. A kind of natural magnetism!

Taller plants, such as bamboo, dracaena (Dragon Plant) and yucca can all provide a natural screen to attractively split up communal working spaces. These can add a degree of privacy without the formal physical barrier of a wall or office divider. Here you’ll be able to benefit from the physical as well as therapeutic properties of interior planting.

These tall plants also act as a super sunshade, reducing the temperature in the office, preventing screen reflections and squinting eyes, keeping staff cool, calm and focussed.

Plants with large leaves, such as ficus elastica (Rubber Plant) or petra and those with dense foliage, like ferns or even a small hedge, can absorb noise from either another part of the office or outside sources, such as traffic or noisy commercial neighbours.

Aside from all of the physical and psychological effects of interior planting, a major benefit is the positive aesthetics that flowers and foliage can bring to an office. Anthurium and Guzmania can add a welcome burst of colour to the office. While shefflera arboricola (Umbrella Tree) can soften any pointed wall with its rounded leaves (for anyone who follows feng shui principles).

Whether you choose architectural or contemporary; big and bold or subtle and sweet; the feel-good factor of interesting planting can’t be denied, making your premises both pleasant for staff and memorable for new or prospective clients.

Of course, artificial plants, while having a similar impact on the eye, will not generate the same health and wellbeing properties as live plants, and in fact may require more maintenance regarding dusting and cleaning than real alternatives.

Take a Leaf Out of Our Book

With so many positive aspects of interior planting, can your business really afford to miss out on this simple solution to boosting performance as well as the self-worth of staff. Although phs Greenleaf has provided trees of up to 40 feet in height, interior planting doesn’t have to be on a large scale to make a difference. As previously mentioned, as few as one plant per three people can have a positive effect on wellbeing, both physical and mental.

Larger woody plants absorb CO2 faster and on a larger scale than smaller plants, and can also provide the ‘wow’ factor. A few strategically-placed plants could make a world of difference to your business.

Remember that plants can only do their job if they are kept in good condition. Regular watering, fertilising and pruning may be required for real plants (species dependent) while artificial varieties will require routine dusting and washing.

phs Greenleaf will provide the best quality plants, sourced from MPS certified growers so you know that your office isn’t gaining at someone else’s expense. Our experienced horticulturalist-led team can provide effective servicing if required, perfectly tailored to your needs so that your plants are always looking great and efficiently providing all the benefits that they can.

Ready to plant? Just get in touch with phs Greenleaf for a no-obligation consultation and free site survey. We have 8,000 customers throughout the UK who are currently enjoying the benefits of exterior and interior planting and landscaping. Whatever the size of your offices, we can advise, design, install and maintain, with a dedicated account manager to coordinate every part of the process. Our wide range of indoor plants ensure that there is always a suitable solution to suit your environment and fit in with your corporate image. We take into consideration everything from situation – light levels, heat, etc – to whether there is someone on the premises willing to take on watering responsibilities!

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