People, Workspace

Five Ways to Bring Nature into the Office

Axiom Workplaces

Offices that successfully incorporate the principles of biophilia into their workspace design are likely to create more productive and satisfying places for their employees compared to offices without natural plant-life. The beauty of this type of design is you don’t need to completely overhaul your present space to bring the natural world into yours.

How do you give your workplace a natural face-lift? We’ve provided you with some simple ways to introduce – or increase – the foliage in your office without smashing your budget to smithereens or taking you beyond a messy point-of-no-return.

Incorporate a living wall or vertical garden

As housing affordability issues increase, more people are turning to apartment living, especially in inner city areas. Along with this, the opportunities to cultivate traditional gardens diminish, yet the desire to create personal green spaces remains strong. One of the more innovative solutions for incorporating natural plant-life into our increasingly cramped private and workspaces is the vertical garden – or living walls, as some might call them.

The beauty of a vertical garden is it can be as big or as small as you desire. Possibly start with a relatively compact space and give yourself the scope to expand the size of this garden as it flourishes, and the productivity and employee satisfaction benefits start to materialise.

The maintenance of a living wall can also give your people the opportunity to take more ownership around the office, offering their input into the design of other creative vertical garden ideas around the workspace.

“The maintenance of a living wall can give your people the opportunity to take more ownership around the office.” Click To Tweet

Give the gift of plants to employees

The benefits of properly recognising your staff’s performance and rewarding them appropriately is perhaps as important to your workplace culture and productivity as your office’s functionality and design. Using your R&R program incentives is one way to stimulate the addition of more plant-life in your workplace.

“Using your R&R program incentives is one way to stimulate the addition of more plant-life in your workplace.” Click To Tweet

You might like to consider rewarding with gift cards from local garden centres or florists, or marking someone’s birthday or special occasion with an indoor plant. More often than not, these living and breathing gifts will find a permanent home on someone’s workstation and function as a great way to introduce more foliage into the working environment.

Look up when it comes to your plants

Hanging lightweight, low maintenance plants from fixtures in your workplace’s ceilings is a simple, creative and unobtrusive way to get more greenery into your workplace. The effect is to create a ‘forest’ canopy that blankets the whole of the workplace – a soothing, biophilic haven – that works best when applied en masse.

“Create a ‘forest’ canopy that blankets the whole of the workplace – a soothing, biophilic haven.” Click To Tweet

If you’re not comfortable with hanging plants from the actual ceiling, you might like to build a shelf high up on your office walls, close to the ceiling, where plants can be stashed like books. We can highly recommend this approach, as it’s something we’ve incorporated into our own workplace design at the new Axiom HQ.

Think about shades and textures

The beauty of designing with plants is there are so many different types of foliage to choose from – light greens through to deep purples, tiny leaves through to huge ones, tropical plants through to winter wonders… the list is endless. But, when it comes to bringing them into the workplace there are some design and practical considerations to make.

Make sure the plants you wish to introduce have sufficient light or temperature for their specific species; otherwise, you may start with a healthy plant but it will soon whither and die. Once you have established the kinds of plants that will grow in your designated areas, consider buying masses of the one plant – rather than dotting different types of plants here and there – to create a dynamic statement that is stunning to the eye.

If living plants won’t make it, fake it

Today’s fake plants have come a long way; in fact, in many cases, it is difficult to tell the difference from a living one. However, there is something about a real plant that brings an element of wellbeing to the office that can’t be replicated otherwise.

We suggest always introducing living plants wherever possible but, if you have some dark corners or particularly harsh or hot areas, supplementing your plant life with a couple of fake ones is perfectly acceptable. Just don’t go overboard.

Keen to go green? Find out how Axiom can make your workplace come alive.

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