Workplace wellness is a growing trend in Australia, proven to help with staff retention, productivity, mental and physical well-being and essentially, better business performance on the whole. Within that trend however, we've noted that bringing nature into the workplace is something that is coming into vogue - and it's gaining momentum!
'The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.' - Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods
Perhaps not the first thing on your mind when creating an office space, but biophiliais (the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life) is trending in Melbourne, and we're jumping on board. This strong connection with nature encourages us to understand other organisms and in doing so, place greater value on them and ourselves as live beings.
While we outlined 'workplace wellness' last year, we continue to see the importance as the years roll by, and love seeing it branch deeper into our return to nature.
This year, one of our company goals is to source more options for our clients in order to create simple changes in their office spaces, that will ultimately result in BIG changes in the way work is conducted. In conjunction, we have researched how it enhances focus, and creates happier, healthier and more energized employees while at work.
One of the offerings we have most recently acquired, is the ability to invite more plant life into the office space with greenscaping (internal landscaping). This can mean living green walls, green roof's, potted plants, plants for tambour units, hanging plants (custom and standardized), wall pots, freestanding walls... and they're all available in and outdoors. With this, we also offer installation, monthly servicing and a plant life guarantee - as well as a full, on-site consultation with our experts in the field.
But why go green?
'Nature allows the opportunity for people to experience relaxation, rejuvenation, improved affective states and connect with people, among a host of other health and wellbeing benefits' - Dr. Rona Weerasuriya, Deakin University
We've done our research this week, and while the benefits of plants were discovered by ancient civilizations well before the white collar worker existed; they are now being utilised in daily life more than ever as our cities grow more industrial and our connection with nature starts to flat-line:
Plant life at work helps eliminate CO2 gases, replacing them with clean oxygen. This allows us our brains to essentially 'breath' more fresh and freely, leading to greater energy, clarity and you got it - productivity.
Plant life has a positive impact on mental states such as anxiety and depression, which are often linked to highly stressful jobs.
Views of nature have been found to improve attentiveness for fatigued workers, boosting concentration and topping up energy reserves.
Research by Deakin university suggests that workplace greenery provides an enriching experience that helps employees feel more engaged at work.
Stress relief and higher job satisfaction has also been linked to views of nature out a window, or if you're lucky, inside the office says Dr. Weerasuriya from Deakin.
Improved health (mental and physical) from spending time outdoors such as a 'walking meeting' or being surrounded by plant life.
Sharper memory, creativity and thinking have been notably improved by going for a walk in nature, or viewing greenery within the office.
Paige Brown Jarreau from Medium convinces us that being in nature can help us 'live in the present moment' - something that is getting increasingly hard as we become more attached to our phones, ipads, computers, social media and other lifestyle devices.
You've got the why and what, so now to fill you in on the how.
Green walls are the first project that come to mind, as they can be fitted in almost any office - no matter how much natural light you perceive them to need. They can be sized from as little as one square metre, and be co-designed by your architect. The plants are easy to care for too, with a CNI dripper (watering system) timer that is water efficient with no 'run to waste' required, and weekly to monthly maintenance to coincide with the lifetime guarantee.
Depending on the UV exposure from the sun, the plants will depend greatly on the variety and species chosen for your space in collaboration with our team. We can offer 'grow lights' as required, and will where, why and how they are installed through our quoting process. While we can cater to particular colour themes you may want, we also have several theme's available to take out the guess-work of your biophilic design, letting you focus on other elements of your office fit-out.
The best part? We can have the system set up for you in as little as two weeks from your confirmation.
For more information on how to introduce greenery to your office environment, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us to speak to a real live person on (03) 9761 4555.
Wishing you well for a GREAT week ahead,
The Balance Team