Plant life: 5 reasons why your office should look like a park

It’s not all about investing in a statement green wall and spending a fortune, plants can add plenty of value to a workplace in lots of different ways. Sarah Bartley from Fern & Noble shares her biophilic advice.

Change of scene

In any great work environment it’s important to create spaces that support different tasks and roles and offer the option of a change of scene. Plants can easily be arranged to create hideaway areas for people to undertake solo tasks or make calls. Green room dividers are perfect for this as they can be arranged and re-arranged as needed, or moved out of the way completely when more floor space is required. Tree islands with satellites of seating make quirky collaboration areas and tall tree canopies transform open plan areas into lush green parks.

Edible living decor

Nothing pulls people together like the prospect of being fed. Having edible varieties of cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, salad greens and peppers means you have homegrown snacks on hand and any sunny room will allow these to flourish. Plus the pop of colour, scent and texture trigger our senses, resulting in a calming regenerative effect on our bodies. By hanging planters at various heights or in patterns you can create artistic displays with tomatoes, bean plants or anything on vines – plus they’re easy to maintain.

Green your image

Creating a vibrant, plant-filled office not only gives people a place they want to work in but it also makes a great first impression on visitors. Choosing plants that make a statement helps to define your company as an innovative brand and a sustainable workplace. Artistic plant displays in boardrooms, living walls behind reception desks and moss lettering or logo designs are particularly eye catching and back up a sustainable image.

Add some privacy

Open plan offices are great spaces to work in and keep the energy buzzing with activity. However they can also be distracting. By designing green corridors between your reception, meeting rooms and so on you minimise the distraction.  Mid-height planters give people working at stations or hot-desking privacy and lots of green borders with a variety of plants can add to a feeling of calm.

Reduce your energy bills

Plants make great insulators. Not just for thermal energy but for sound as well. Spaces containing a good number of plants keep a comfortable temperature and humidity level that is also optimal for humans. This in turn reduces our reliance on energy consuming air-conditioning and heating systems which are not only expensive but harsh on our bodies and bad for our health. Plants hanging or placed against windows protect from the intense glare of the sun and positioning planters in staggered positions around a room breaks up the air flow, meaning less drafts. They also double as sound dampeners, absorbing exterior noise, chatter and the buzz of office equipment. In areas where more discretion is needed such as client areas and boardrooms, planted or green walls or moss panels make excellent sound barriers as well as stylish decorations.