Improving Productivity and Well-being: The Benefits of Plants in the Office

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Creating a Flourishing Work Environment: The Importance of Natural Elements

In the frantic context of modern offices, the quality of the work environment plays a crucial role in determining employee productivity and well-being. Plants and natural elements are no longer just aesthetic details but essential components for creating an efficient and comfortable space that fosters creativity.

According to Ron Radu, co-founder of Léon & George, plants and green areas in the office not only improve air quality but can also increase productivity. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association has shown that having plants in the workplace can help reduce stress levels and stimulate creativity.

In addition to plants, natural elements like wooden floors, exposed concrete, and bricks can bring the outdoors inside the office, boosting morale and inspiring those who work there. These natural materials have been associated with a greater sense of well-being and connection with nature.

The setup of workspaces has a significant impact on employee retention and talent attraction. A global report by Human Spaces in 2015 highlighted that one-third of workers consider the work environment a decisive factor in choosing to join a company. A green and welcoming work environment can contribute to improving employee satisfaction and the employer’s reputation.

Designing green workspaces not only enhances productivity but also demonstrates a commitment to employee health and well-being. Additionally, introducing green areas in offices can promote movement and improve interactions among colleagues.

So choosing to opt for plants or entire green areas in offices is not just an aesthetic matter but a strategy to improve employees’ mental and physical health, as we also specify in 11 Tips to Make the Office Productive.

"Not only do plants inside our work and living spaces preserve health, concentration, and reduce anxiety and stress; they do so both directly, through their ability to purify indoor air, and also because they create beauty."

One step further: the biophilic office

Specifically, this concept, based on the integration of natural elements into workspaces to improve employee well-being and increase productivity, is called the biophilic office.

According to architect Kengo Kuma, a biophilic office is primarily designed to integrate nature into the work environment, using natural materials and green elements to improve employees’ wellbeing. Kuma highlights the main features of this type of office, such as the use of wood, plants, and natural light, and emphasizes the importance of creating a warm and welcoming environment that fosters creativity and productivity.

According to Stella33 as well, the broader meaning of this trend, that is triggering an improvement in the well-being of office users, has a strong potential impact on the future of workspace design.

How to integrate plants in offices?

Wellable goes further, not only highlighting that plants help create a more pleasant and welcoming environment and promote greater employee satisfaction, but also suggests which plants to choose for the office and how to integrate them, for example by leveragingliving wallsmade of plants, hanging pots or utilizing unused surfaces (such as window sills) to insert potted plants. Mindspace follows the same reasoning, also advising to involve employees in plant care to foster a sense of responsibility and ownership.

So investing in plants and natural elements in workspaces can promote movement, improve interactions among colleagues, and stimulate creativity, overall contributing to a healthier and more productive work environment.

The incorporation of such elements should therefore be considered as part of a broader strategy to improve employee well-being and work effectiveness. This strategy also encompasses other elements, such as caring for lighting and acoustics, which will be the subject of further insights by Stella33.

Stella33 presents: the perfotming office and Meravili - House of Business

Stella33 is constantly working on optimizing workspaces, committing to studying the best-fit solutions tailored to the needs of different companies,, according to the “one fits one” philosophy, because every company is different and the needs of those using the spaces represent the criterion towards which to orient the design, organization, and functioning of the environments.. According to Stella33, high-performance offices are precisely this: functional and efficient spaces designed to enhance the well-being of their users, which will inevitably result in improved satisfaction and performance.

An example currently being developed in Milan according to these principles is Meravili – House of Business, a unique workspace for the Lombard capital, which, in addition to customizable serviced offices tailored to client needs, hosts a Garden & Lounge area, various meeting rooms, a bar, and an event space. The focus, in this case, is not only on the possibilities of customizing the offices but also on the Garden area, which will bring the outdoor courtyard inside, creating a green environment, where informal work can be conducted as well as providing spaces for relaxation and triggering those business relationships leading towards the creation of a community in the workspace.

The benefits of plants in the office: a summary

In conclusion, let’s summarize the main advantages of having plants and natural elements in workspaces:

  • Improvement of air quality: Plants absorb carbon dioxide and other air pollutants, helping to purify the air and make the environment healthier for employees.

  • Reduction of stress: The presence of plants can reduce stress levels and improve overall employee well-being. Studies have shown that the sight of plants can reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels, a stress hormone.

  • Increase in productivity: Plants can enhance concentration and creativity, helping employees to be more productive in the workplace.

  • Noise reduction: Plants can absorb or mask environmental noises, thus improving office acoustics and reducing distractions.

  • Improvement of mood: Plants add color and life to workspaces, creating a more pleasant and inviting atmosphere that can improve employees’ mood.

  • Promotion of engagement: Taking care of plants can promote a sense of responsibility and employee involvement, encouraging them to also care for other aspects of their work.

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