Thursday 12th October 2023
Showground, Wadebridge

Want a More Productive and Creative Workforce?

It’s hard to avoid the general sluggishness we all feel in the office this time of year, as winter drags on and spring refuses to show its face; is it any wonder that productivity often suffers as we battle against tiredness and feeling run down?

While we can settle for weathering out these wintery months, pressing on with the job in hand and hoping for new ideas and a new resolve once the days get brighter, there is an easy way to keep a workplace fresh and productive all year.

The office plant often ranks highly in surveys asking employees what they most want in their workplace. The people questioned may want plants in their offices simply because they brighten up the place, but even just looking at a plant can do more than please the eye: it has been proven to noticeably boost productivity, creativity and concentration.

Embracing biophilia

At the heart of this effect is a term which is being bandied about more and more: biophilia. Biophilia is essentially our need to maintain, or even grasp back, our connection to nature, as a means of improving our sense of wellbeing.

As we spend a lot of time indoors these days, we instinctively look for this link back to the time when we lived outdoors, and building design is recognising this, focussing increasingly on bringing elements of nature into our indoor spaces as a way of creating healthier workplaces and homes.

There are many different ways in which plants and nature in general can be used to bring the outdoors indoors.

On a dramatic scale, there is the jaw-dropping Bosco Verticale, a pair of multi-storey blocks of flats in Milan covered in hundreds of diverse trees and plants. The vertical forest was designed to counteract pollution and encourage more nature back into the city, while at the same time creating a relaxing setting for the residents. It’s an inspired idea which looks to be coming to other cities around the world.

Concrete evidence

However, using plants in our offices and homes can be much more low-key and still be effective: any greenery can make a difference, especially in the middle of an urban setting, where views of nature can be hard to come by amidst the concrete.

The odd plant positioned about a room can still have positive effects on our state of mind, as studies have found in both workplaces and educational settings.

For example, reseach by Washington State University found that people working indoors with plants in their line of vision do tasks 12% faster and are able to concentrate better than people who don’t have plants in the room.

What’s more, plants can relieve fatigue, headaches and stress and, by improving humidity levels in rooms and cleaning the air of toxins, they can also reduce instances of dry coughs and sore throats, all of which helps us to work more effectively.

As interior landscapers, we are seeing more and more clients keen to bring plants into the workplace not just for the visual appeal, but also because they are becoming more aware of the many health benefits of plants. For a reasonably small investment in a planting scheme, they can see real, noticeable improvements in their workplace.

We often talk about bringing a workplace to life with plants and this statement works on so many levels: a vibrant view of greenery, the simple presence of live plants in the room, fresher air and, because of all of these things, more invigorated workers. More life, more energy, more productivity.

As we wait for Spring to break the dull days, why not get a head start and liven up your workplace, and workforce, with plants?

This blog was provided by Urban Planters