How to prepare for an office plantscape design

  • Sarah Bartley, CEO  Posted by Sarah Bartley, CEO
  • On February 21, 2017

If you follow recent workplace engagement strategies you will already be aware of the impact a well laid out and homely office environment has on employee satisfaction and wellbeing.  Biophilic offices: those that take advantage of the innate positive effects that more natural settings bring can make financial gains [1]. In contrast companies that ignore the amounting research risk cutting themselves off from the increased productivity gains and HR benefits a more human appeal offers. So before you invest in a greener workplace here are a few important aspects to consider.

Make note of natural light sources.  Most smartphones have a built-in compass. Note which direction windows face and the intensity of light entering the rooms.  Plants require different light levels and atmospheric conditions and a plant in the wrong spot won’t look great for long.  Cacti thrive in high-sun, dry conditions.  Tropical plants like monsteradeliciosa do well in low-light more humid environments.  A quick search online will offer limitless choices but make sure to match the plant type to the conditions in the office.  LED or Florescent light can offer some additional energy but it’s no substitute for natural daylight.

Understand traffic flow. Reception areas are the first thing workers see in the morning and are surveyed closely by visitors to the office. Ensure their first impression is a positive one that represents your company well.  Not only does a green display provides a welcoming environment but also communicates a strong and positive impression of the company and its values. Likewise planted walkways guide both visitors and staff to and from meeting rooms, offers privacy when needed and hides views of less attractive lunch room and storage areas.

Consider adverse climate factors such as drafts, glaring direct sun light (in summer) and air-conditioning impact on workers.  Plants can offer natural barriers from common office issues like chilly entrances and intense sunlight.  Consider green dividers to combat drafts and hanging planters by windows to shade workers in summer.  Air-conditioning can often be a nuisance and well placed plants can not only provide a shield but can reduce dependence of heating and cooling systems thanks to their natural climate control ability.

Select plant choices that offer extra to visitors and staff.  A trend growing in popularity is the edible office garden.  Easy to grow fruit, veg and herbs create a community atmosphere and offer employees ‘take-home’ edible treats and novelty at work.  Scented plants like lavender and eucalyptus invigorate moods.  Tomato vines and strawberries provide organic lunch ingredients. Intriguing and unusual hanging plant displays over boardroom tables offer easy conversation starters and intrigue.

Plan for maintenance. Whatever interior landscape you decide upon consider the aftercare that will be needed to keep plants looking and performing at their best.  Tired and dying plants give the wrong impression so arrange an office rota for weekly watering or hire a professional contractor (link us) to oversee their care and keep the well-being vibes strong throughout year.

[1]https://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com/reports/the-economics-of-biophilia/

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