Dari Shechter, VP Design & Creative and Lily Stanger, Director of Interior Design at Mindspace, share their thoughts on why we need to bring the outdoors in during Covid-19
If you’re looking for a simple, cost-effective and low-maintenance way to instantly improve your workplace and the wellbeing of your employees, you should think green. Plants of all sizes and styles have been scientifically proven to bring a slew of healthy benefits to office spaces, and the mental correlation that employees draw in the presence of leafy green flora is so strong, in fact, that many plant perks can be spurred by faux plants, or even just plant imagery, like leafy wallpaper or greenery in paintings in art.
Indeed, plants boost air humidity and act as natural air filters, and simply being near green plants has been shown to boost productivity in employees. But how do you know which kinds of plants to select, where to place them and how to care for them? Here are a handful of top tips for introducing greenery into your office space for maximum benefit.
1. Go low maintenance
When you’re in the office, you want to focus on work, not tending a garden. For this reason, choose low maintenance plants such as spider plants, snake plants, pothos, peace lily and aloe. Plants that don’t need a lot of natural light are more likely to thrive indoors and under the office lights; those that grow slowly will be easier to tend and care for than those that grow fast. And if you want to make a small investment and are looking to bring greenery to a spot in your office that has poor access to watering and daily maintenance, a interior irrigation system is always a wonderful way to ensure that the plants you select will thrive and continue to flourish without requiring much fuss from your end.
2. Strength in numbers
A single potted plant can bring a nice pop of green to a bland office space, but to truly tap into the benefits of indoor plants in the workplace, group your plants in clusters. And if you have a window or sunny spot, consider placing clusters of plants, especially those that are low-maintenance but love light, such as succulents and cacti, together along a windowsill. It’s an easy and effortless way to brighten your decor.
Plants serve a number of benefits. Big plants that sit in large pots can absorb workplace chatter and boost ambient noise, and a study conducted by the University of Technology Sydney found that offices with plants saw a 37% reduction in anxiety, 44% reduction in office hostility, nearly 40 % drop in chronic fatigue and 58% reduction in reported depression. So don’t hold back: grab five or six plants at once and place them together, and watch the benefits unfold.
3. Fake is nothing to fear
Sometimes, even the lowest maintenance plants require too much care. This is particularly true in office spaces where foot traffic is irregular, in spaces that receive very little light, or when you want to place greenery in spots that are hard to reach or water, such as up on a high shelf. But none of these scenarios mean you need to give up on the aesthetic benefits of green plants. You simply want to lean on the beauty and impressive quality of fake plants, which over the past few decades have become available in such high-detail varieties that it can sometimes be nearly impossible to spot the imposters. When selecting fake plants, think small: large plants and indoor trees are much more easily identified as fake, so reach for a handful of small synthetic plants rather than one large one if you have a wide space to fill. And consider grouping fake and real plants together; the use of real plants in the same area as fake ones will help the synthetic greenery blend in.
4. It’s a real wallflower
Employees perform better — up to 15 percent better — when in the presence of plants. And bright colours and shapes, like those in many plants, stimulate creativity and help productivity. In fact, the power of plants is so strong that even just the image of plants can stir up many benefits, so consider bringing in plant-themed decor to your design plans in addition to actual plants. Floral wallpaper covered in green leafy prints can improve employees’ health and mood simply because of the presence of the colour green, which is calming and stimulates feelings of excitement and compassion, as well as a sense of optimism. And photographs and paintings of plants and natural spaces tap into an evolutionary response of tranquility and contentment, and can also help employees focus, zone in on work and boost their overall moods
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Image courtesy of Mindspace