Don’t Send Flowers, Send a Plant!

Today’s work norm sees us spending 40 hours (or considerably) more at our offices. This equates to approximately 30% of our lives not including preparation or travel time.

Scientific evidence strongly suggests that our workplaces environments have a significant impact on our physical, emotional and social health. Contributors include the color schemes we see, the quality of ventilation, the noise levels, our privacy, physical space and our ability to personalize our environments.

In parallel there is mounting evidence that plants can and do play a large role in countering some of the negative contributors and can actually significantly improve our health and the environment within the workplace.

Our ongoing need for eco-friendly, sustainable and green design is dramatically reshaping the way in which we design and source workspace environments. More and more we hear our clients reference their desires for sustainable design as part of an office fitout.

Kamal Meattle’s proposed office park ‘GreenSpaces ™’ in New Delhi, is an extreme green example where building energy consumption targets include reductions of up to 40%, achieved through a combination of air filtering plants and sustainable architecture.

The Paharpur Business Center, a recently launched design prototype, boasts superior air quality achieved through green design and offers a healthier environment to India’s corporate world. The statistics speak for themselves and include dramatic reductions in workplace health issues:

Eye irritants down by 52%

Respiratory symptoms down by 34%

Headaches down by 24%

Lung impairment down by 12%

Asthma down by 9%

Aside from the positive impact on health, indoor plants are known to improve workplace productivity and efficiency by increasing blood oxygen levels.

Kamal cites the Areca Palm, Mother in Law’s Tongue and the Money Plant as of the driving forces that has allowed the Paharpur Center to “grow” fresh air:

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) also known as the “Butterfly Palm” or “Golden Cane Palm” is a small to medium-sized palm growing to a height of 6 to 12 metres. “According to NASA and Dr. B C. Wolverton, the Areca Palm filters xylene and toluene from the air…” (Wikipedia)

Mother in Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) also known as the “Snake Plant” is an evergreen that can grow to 90cm in length and is commonly used as an indoor plant. “A study by NASA found it is one of the best plants for improving indoor air quality…” (Wikipedia)

The “Money Plant” (Crassula ovata) also known as the “Jade Plant” is a succulent plant with small pink or white flowers is also listed as a plan recognized by NASA in reducing toxins from the air.

For employers there is an obvious case for encouraging staff to decorate their workstations with plants, and to use oxygen enriching indoor plants in break out areas and as fixtures.

For employees the benefits of having a mood altering, performance enhancing, oxygen generating machine sitting on the desk to call on at will no doubt make you the envy of your colleagues.

For old school romantics, think about sending an indoor plant instead of flowers. Your gesture wont wilt, dry or disappear and will have a very positive impact on your recipient!

For us, the secret recipe to a quality office fitouts, lies in thinking about the small things that can really make a difference.

Source by Darien P Tydeman

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