Offices getting greener. Why do I need plants in the workplace?
Plants in the office are not only an increasingly common design element, but most of all they have real benefits for the health of employees.
Greenery produces oxygen and purifies the air from harmful compounds emitted from floors, furniture and electrical appliances, it calms and improves concentration and significantly increases the aesthetics of the interior. Skilful selection of plants helps to achieve one of the key objectives of many companies – ensuring wellbeing of employees. What is more, employees themselves increasingly demand the presence of greenery in the workplace. In Colliers these needs were reported through surveys. In response, year after year there are more potted plants in the company and spaces for new ones are still being arranged.
Which plants to choose?
This is a question many office managers ask themselves. Concerns may also be raised about the care of greenery and costs associated with it. Greening the office, just like taking care of plants, can be a hassle-free and not too costly task, if we follow a few key rules.
Resistant and undemanding
Plants, which don’t require constant attention, are resistant to care errors and the harsh conditions of office space – high dryness of the air, lack of daylight and cold air from air conditioners during the summer – do best in an office.
When caring for greenery one should take into account its quantity, the variety of species and the places where the plants have been placed. With a small amount of greenery, the care can be outsourced to a cleaning service, who could look after it during their daily duties. However, if our office is very green, with many different species of plants that require a special approach, or if the plants are placed on the suspension from the ceiling or on very high racks, then it is best to hire a specialist company, which will not only help us in taking care of the greenery, but can also advise on its introduction or arrangement.
Complete lack of daylight can be a problem when it comes to arranging greenery, however there are some solutions on the market that can help solve it. If we care about living plants in the office, BIO lamps for illuminating plants, which support their development, can be helpful. However, such lamps must meet certain requirements, e.g. have color temperature of minimum 4000K, power of 70W and light distribution of min. 40 degrees.
If, on the other hand, we would like to introduce a green element into the room, but we do not care that the plants are alive, an interesting solution are green walls made of moss or stabilized plants.
When choosing plant species for an office, the key point is where they will be located and the effect we want to achieve. Office manager has to consider if plants should harmonize with arrangement by complementing it, or if they should be a separate design element, which will be an eye-catcher. It depends on this whether the arrangement will be dominated by climbing/hanging plants (such as epipremnum aureum, philodendron scandens, rhipsalis or ivy) or free-standing plants (such as aglaonema, monstera, ficus elastica or ficus lyrata). Air-purifying plants, such as herbaceous sterberga, aglaonema, tree bosslera, and Guinea sansewieria, are also a desirable option today.
In the case of a dominant role of plants in the arrangement, for example, green vertical walls will work perfectly. Unfortunately it is also quite expensive solution, because this type of garden needs its own water supply and drainage.
The cost of greenery arrangement may seem quite high, but it should not be forgotten that it is an investment for years, which employees appreciate more than other facilities in the office.
When arranging greenery, costs are one of the key challenges faced by office manager. They depend on many factors. The main factors that influence the amount of expenses are: the choice of plant species, which the company decides on (the more unique and rare, the more expensive), the type of exposure (places difficult to access or the use of green vertical walls), time of order and of course its size. To this must be added the cost of greenery care. In case of taking care of plants on your own or delegating this duty to a cleaning service, expenses will be much lower than when greenery will be taken care of by a professional company. However, it is worth to invest in both the arrangement of greenery and specialized service, because it guarantees not only high quality of services, but also peace of mind when it comes to keeping the office plants in good condition.
Plants in the office act as a kind of biofilter, purifying the air from toxic substances, including formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia or carbon dioxide. Moreover they positively influence improvement of air humidity and acceleration of circulation, which is extremely important in air-conditioned rooms overcrowded with electronics. What is important, plants are also great sound insulators. Arranged in a large cluster, they reflect and scatter sound, but also absorb sound waves. All this translates into greater comfort of employees, who, thanks to greenery, feel not only more relaxed, but also more motivated to continue working.