We spend an average of 40 hours a week in the workplace. That’s about one third of our waking hours. So, making our work environment pleasant can only be a good thing.
Whether you’re working in an office, a factory or a production environment, there’s one easy way to make it feel a little less sterile and characterless – bring in some attractive greenery.
Psychological studies have shown that humans benefit from time spent in nature, from relaxing outdoors on a beach by the sea, or hiking through the fresh country air. When we’re in need of relaxation and calm, we tend to head outdoors.
So, when we’re spending a large portion of our time inside, bringing a touch of nature indoors can only bring positive benefits.
The mental health benefits of plants at work
Not only will plants add some colour to your office, they can have benefits for your mental health and well-being too. In fact, bringing a touch of the outside indoors can:
Heading out to nature is great for our stress levels – but hard to achieve in Britain with our unreliable weather. Daily interaction with plants has been shown to help with stress and reduce depression.
It would seem logical that being happier while at work will make you feel more motivated. But it’s not just common sense. Studies have also shown that plants in the workplace improve productivity.
Plants absorb toxins from the air, such as polluted or stale air caused by lack of air flow or machinery, and boosts oxygen levels. This creates a healthier environment which reduces sickness.
A touch of fresh air increases positivity
If you’re in manufacturing, your workplace is likely to feel quite metallic. In many of the more industrial spaces, it’s possible there aren’t any windows or natural daylight either. So bringing a touch of nature inside through biophilic design can add some character and brighten an otherwise sterile room.
A visually stimulating room can help creativity and, more importantly in a manufacturing environment perhaps, reduce noise levels. By using them to delineate quiet zones you can create a more relaxing or private space in an open plan office for workers to relax in.
And, once you have a welcoming work environment, with cleaner air and more positive staff, it can only create an atmosphere that encourages job applicants to sign up. So, bringing the outside in might just help with staff retention and recruitment as well.
Which plants would benefit your workplace?
Of course, more greenery in your workplace can only have positive effects if they stay green. No one wants to be surrounded by sad, drooping brown stalks.
If you need plants that can stand up to your manufacturing setting, they will need to be low-maintenance and hardy types.
There are plenty of smaller options for standing on desks – such as English Ivy, Spider Plant, or Snake Plants. If you do have windows, cacti are ideal for anyone who definitely doesn’t have green fingers, but obviously beware of anyone hurting themselves.
In a larger open space, you might want to consider a Peace Lily, Parlor Palm, or Philodendron. The Umbrella Tree is also a nice option. Both bushy and tall, it can be used to create a cosy corner. A Chinese Evergreen is low maintenance and great for removing those toxins, ideal for your factory, while something like a Weeping Fig can filter some pollutants.
So, what do you think? Would you add some greenery to your production line?