Return To The Office – How Plants Can Help

In March, people from all over the UK found themselves in a unique situation. Most were not used to working from home but, suddenly, had to adapt to a new situation. Remote working quickly became the norm and many people have truly enjoyed the experience; however, there is no denying that this type of work also has several drawbacks.

Below, we’re taking a look at the good and bad of working from home – and how plants can help to prepare for a return to the office.

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

Pros

Apart from self-employed individuals, such as freelancers, remote working was new for the vast majority of people. Most have adapted very well to the circumstances and have reported an increase in their productivity and efficiency. In fact, in a recent survey, 43% of bosses surveyed found that remote work had a positive impact on productivity since lockdown started.

After all, working from home allows you to have more flexibility when it comes to work hours, since you are able to create or adapt your schedule to fit your lifestyle. This means more time with family too.

It might also be your case that working in an office means having to deal with distractions that bring down your productivity levels; so, you may find that working from home allows you to focus on work and makes it easier to take a break.

Another benefit is not having to commute. Not only is commuting time-consuming and, therefore, an interference on work-life balance, but it can also be expensive. Due to this, you probably appreciate being able to save money on fuel or train fares; working from home also means you’re not spending money on coffee runs and eating out.

Cons

However, while there is no doubt that working from home offers a host of benefits, it can also have several downsides, which make people keen to return to the office.

A big issue with remote working is isolation. If you’re used to chatting with colleagues on a daily basis, you probably miss the face-to-face interactions and might end up feeling lonely. Loneliness is not conducive to productivity or creativity. On the contrary, if you feel lonely, you will likely feel less motivated and without energy as well.

Another disadvantage of remote working is how boring the experience can quickly become. Before the COVID-19 pandemic and world-wide lockdown measures, you may have dreamed of working from home. However, it’s clear that looking at the same four walls every day without a change of scenery can be harmful to your mental health. This means cabin fever, stress or depression.

Working from home blurs the lines between professional and personal lives, as you may have been forced to work from your kitchen, bedroom or living room. Not every home environment is appropriate for remote work either, be it because of children in the room or simply lack of space, which can have a negative impact on work.

Something else to consider is how out of touch people have felt with their wider business community and with their clients. In the office, it’s easier for you to communicate with your peers, partners and customers but, when working from home, these connections are not as strong.

Returning to the Office

A lot of people are still working remotely but a return to the office is now imminent.

Of course, it’s not expected that businesses demand everyone returns to the office at once. This will likely be a phased-in return in line with current government guidance, which will see the slow re-introduction of the office to the many individuals working from home or on furlough.

It’s crucial that workplaces ensure the safety and comfort of their staff, and you’ll be surprised at the key role plants can play in this process.

Plant Barriers

For example, plants can be used to delineate areas and teams. They allow you to implement social distancing measures easily and, because you’re using plants instead of tape to mark spaces, your employees can benefit from a green and aesthetically pleasing office.

A 2016 study found that cognition can be boosted by 26% in green workspaces, and that people’s wellbeing and productivity improve with plants around them as well. This makes adding green barriers to the office a great argument.

Replacing Desks with Plants

If, because of social distancing, you have to remove desks, you don’t want the office to look sparse and empty. Adding plants to the newly vacated spots is a great solution because it makes the office look attractive and vibrant.

Plants Help with Anxiety

A fantastic benefit of plants in the office is that they ease anxiety and stress levels, perfect to help with the current circumstances.

Plants reduce stress at work, as they help people feel calmer and more positive. Both having visual access to plants and being allowed to care for them (passive and active involvement) can have a calming effect. So, by adding plants to the workplace, you can help your staff fight anxiety and stay relaxed.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you to prepare for a return to the office with our plants and to create a peaceful environment that your employees will love.

 

 

Related articles

Christmas Tree Trends for 2020

Are you ever too old to get excited about the Christmas season?  There is something so enchanting about Christmas decorations. The sparkle and glitter that transforms every day spaces into something quite magical.

Personally, I still have to quell the bubble of excitement and anticipation as I go about my commute, and trips to the shops heading into the Christmas season.  Seeing the streets, shop-windows and houses decked out in bright lights lifts the spirits and brings a smile to your face, and of course a Christmas Tree has to be the main attraction, the centre piece for all Christmas related events!

Christmas is a big event for the Planteria team as it’s our job to dress trees for businesse – from head office atriums and reception areas, to the grandest hotels and the cheeriest of pub chains, and everything in between.  We like to keep our finger on the pulse of what is happening in the world of Christmas Decorating.  Christmas Tree trends, like anything design related, change from year to year.  With this in mind, I caught up with our Christmas Tree Guru, Lucy Sweeney to get the inside information on what’s hot for Christmas Trees for 2020.  Let’s hope it’s not hand-sanitiser filled baubles, or face-mask themed decorations!

Lucy says..

It’s interesting that Christmas tree trends often reflect fashion design with regard to colours and themes, so anything that you have seen as a strong trend on the catwalk or in interior design will be echoed in Christmas trees.  This year that means rose gold is still very popular.  Another twist on this will be rose gold mixed with gun metal grey echoing the grey interior theme which is has pervaded every bit of home furnishing for the last few years.

New for this year, expect to see mixed metals making a statement. Think of pairing opulent metallics together.  Try out different tones of gold, from old gold to yellow-gold, pale champagne, tungsten grey and silver all mixed together to get this effect.

 

There will however, always be a place for ‘traditional’ trees with a colour palette of red, gold and green. Some 20 years ago when professional tree dressing became an established part of the corporate and hospitality season, all the top London hotels had very traditional trees with the red gold and green palette and lots of tartan ribbon tied on the trees as bows.

More recently, there has also been a movement for some luxury brands to create a unique twist on this and to go for something as different as possible.

For some brands this has included working with guest designers, and even modernist art installation Christmas Tree ‘pieces’ like the silver inflatable Jack Irving Tree at W London or the primary coloured Yinka Ilori ‘Tree’ at the Sanderson.

 

The 00’s saw a move away from tinsel and the lametta, the shiny garlands and strands of metallic plastic.  These items have started to make a resurgence from the wholesalers but are yet to make a return to the corporate sector, thank heavens!  But perhaps you will see more of them in the domestic setting?

Perhaps the biggest change over the years has been with tree lights as they moved from multicoloured, to white, and there are so many options available now. Though classic lights are by far the most sophisticated.

Planteria are ready to help you sprinkle some magic on your workspace this Christmas with 11 different decoration theme options, plus a bespoke decoration offering, as well as choices of Live Nordmann Firs, Replica Trees or Artificial Cone trees.  Whatever look you are going for – we can help deliver a Christmas to remember.

Just pop over to our Christmas page to find out more: https://www.planteriagroup.com/christmas

 

Related articles