The standard office couldn't be further away from the natural landscape. Aesthetically-minimal in chrome and steel, our urban work-spaces are entirely opposed to the environments humans adapted to. We associate these streamlined, man-made environments with industry and progress, but are such conditions optimal?
Researchers, designers and innovators are realising the benefits of 'greening' the work-space, with evidence from across the globe showing productivity levels to be boosted by plant-life. Empirical research from Exeter university pitched this increase at 15%, while studies from Harvard found a 26% rise in output from workers in green offices.
The former project monitored offices in the UK and the Netherlands over an extended period of 18 months. Buildings were matched and randomly allocated ‘minimalist’ or ‘maximalist’ interiors, with an emphasis on plant-life in the second category.
Dr. Knight, director of the study, claims that ‘what was important was that everybody could see a plant from their desk. If you are working in an environment where there's something to get you psychologically engaged you are happier and you work better.’
The advantages of working amongst plant life go beyond the visual, as the Impact of Green Buildings project has demonstrated. The experiment assessed multiple factors affecting indoor work places; modifying qualities such as the chemical components of the airspace and levels of ventilation. They found that the environment most closely resembling an office with plant-life increased cognitive function by a significant degree. Participants in the green environment showed a greater capacity for strategic thinking, information storage and usage, and responded to tasks more readily.
Even more compellingly, a study conducted at Washington State University showed a windowless environment containing plants to produce more productive and less stressed workers than a room with windows looking out on nature.
So why does this happen?
Seemingly, the reasons plants boost our productivity levels and mood are both psychological and physiological. These research findings remind us of our innate affinity with the natural world.
For a more in-depth explanation of the reasons we respond well to green environments, keep an eye out for future blog posts!
Could your office building become part of the green revolution?
Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll talk you through our specially designed business packages. Our offerings are uniquely tailored to the needs of our clients and are structured around wellbeing and performance, as much as decoration.
Or, if you want to get started yourself, check out our desk plant collection. These guys have been carefully chosen based on their size, appearance, and hardiness.
Let us know how you get on, we think these guys will make a big difference to your day!