Offices are becoming increasingly self-aware of how the design of their space affects the quality of your work, with many places embracing more relaxed decor than the conventional, clinical office stereotype. Coworking spaces especially have embraced this change, as more people choose to work in a way that is less traditional. Avenue HQ prides itself on offering a space that makes its members feel calm and comfortable, so they are able to work to the best of their ability. When you have a good working environment, productivity increases and in turn, your overall performance, but how do plants fit in to this?
Traditional office spaces that are devoid of art, souvenirs and plants are proven to be an adverse environment for people to work in. AHQ carefully considers our members wellbeing in the design of our spaces, ensuring that you are supplied with plenty of natural light and a selection of artwork to help inspire and make you feel at home. Although we fill our co working spaces with plants, adding an extra bit of nature to your office also is an inexpensive way that you can personalise your work surroundings. Adding even just one plant to your desk has numerous benefits to your wellbeing, therefore the quality of the work you produce will increase! So, what are the benefits?
Plants help to reduce stress
Various studies have shown that the presence of plants in a working environment reduces the symptoms of stress and fatigue. A study by the University of Technology, Sydney, found that there was a 37% fall in tension and anxiety, a 38% reduction in fatigue and a 58% drop in depression or dejection when they added plants into otherwise sterile offices.
Plants increase productivity and creativity
According to attention restoration theory, people concentrate better after spending time in, or even looking at images of nature, as it shifts your brain into a different mode of processing. Employees productivity and creativity increases up to 15% when added to an office according to research conducted by the University of Exeter. As plants are a direct representation of nature, people draw inspiration from them as they are synonymous with abundance and ample resources.
Plants clean the air
NASA scientists studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space stations and they found that plants filter out VOCs (volatile organic compounds) making the air safer to breathe. Further research shows that plants cut carbon dioxide by 10% inside air-conditioned buildings and up to 25% in buildings without air conditioning.
They help to reduce sickness and absence rates
Nearly two-thirds of workers have no live plants in their workspaces however those who incorporated natural elements into their surroundings reported a 15% higher wellbeing score. The Agricultural university of Norway links the addition of plants into an office to a 25% decrease in symptoms of ill health, including headaches, coughs and irritation of the eyes and nose. A further Norwegian study links indoor plants and a 10% decrease in short term sick leave.
So what are the best office plants to keep? Although succulents and cacti are obviously fab choices, there are a huge variety of other amazing plants to add to your desk that are easy to look after:
Devils Ivy is a type of evergreen vine which adapts well to a variety of office conditions, from low light levels to brighter ones. This plant is easy to care for and has large heart shaped leaves. As they grow, you can either attach them to a pole they will grow up it or let them hang.
These Chinese evergreens are particularly popular because of their beautiful leaves. Whilst some may be deep green, others may contain silver or red. It is predominantly popular in China where they symbolise long life.
Often called the ZZ plant, they are fabulous for people who usually kill their plants as they are so easy maintain. They have small leaves and fat stalks that store lots of water and can tolerate periods of low light which makes them the perfect desk plant during the winter period.
Peace lilies are beautiful plants that have large green leaves and gorgeous white flowers. They are good for the office as they don’t need a lot of light so will still flourish as a desk plant and they are forgiving of being overwatered. They are also fantastic plants for removing toxins in the air.
From greens for the office to greens for your body, Greens for Good is a vertical farming start up based in the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool that aims to get fresh greens into every classroom and office in Liverpool. They have been educating schools and communities on how we can sustainably grow organic food for the future in the city, using soilless hydroponics and vertical towers. You can help support them by providing fresh, living, healthy greens for your staff and in turn, their education programme.
AHQ strives to offer its members a range of benefits and opportunities that the traditional workspace doesn’t, which is why in January we will be organising a week of events that are centred around wellness. Wellness addresses health as a broader term, acknowledging a spectrum of factors within our lives that make us feel good, encompassing mental, social and emotional heath. Stay tuned for more information on the events taking place for Week Of Wellness.