Wellbeing Programmes: What are They, and Why Do They Matter?

Special guest blog by John Walters, Co-founder & Director of Questae Collective.

Businesses have many differing objectives. They have different visions, and goals. They have different internal cultures, societal belief systems, habits, traditions. Things are done in a certain way because that is how they do them! They have hierarchy, roles, responsibilities, and structures. They also have many different departments, all with their own differing cultures, personalities, and communication processes.

But the one thing they do all have in common, is that they all have PEOPLE!

workplace wellbeing

Studies have found that 1 in 5 people take a day off due to stress, yet 90% of these people cited a different reason for their absence. Source MHFA England

And when we look at the statistics, it’s even more concerning. Data from the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) 2019 report has found that “17.5 million working days were lost last year due to mental health-related sickness absence.” Source ONS Labour Force Survey

The report further found that stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 54% of all working days lost due to ill health.” Source MHFA England

The workplace is certainly shifting, and the past 10 months have accelerated this incredibly, irreversibly maybe (I hope so).

Culture within the workplace, whether that be at home, in the office, in transit, co-working space, or wherever it is, is now more than ever changing how we work, how we interact, how we communicate.

So how do we ensure that this shift takes us towards a culture of health and wellbeing?

How can businesses embrace this shift to help their people nourish, thrive, and expand?

planteria plants

The first question we often get asked is “what is wellness?”

Our take on this is that wellness is an active process of becoming aware of, and making choices toward, a healthy and fulfilling life. It is more than just being free from illness; it is a dynamic process of change and growth. Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

“Physical and mental health are inextricably connected; without one, the other cannot thrive.” An interview with Rex Millar www.rexmillar.com

Businesses that have already engaged in programmes, or implemented strategies or shifts in their culture to embrace, promote, and live by the pillars of wellness, they really are making a difference, but not only to their people, to themselves as well.

By treating their people as individuals, by empowering them and creating a culture that has a focus on offering, and expanding ideas, knowledge, techniques, and skills to enhance wellness and wellbeing, they have shifted their culture in a way that supports, guides, and encourages individuals with the aim of enhancing physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

So, what’s in it for the business?

Vitality Health’s ‘Britain’s Healthiest Workplace’ initiative has proven that businesses that embrace wellness as a fundamental part of their culture do thrive and succeed and expand in many more ways that just bottom line. In fact, in an open letter to business leaders in the 2019 2019 Health at Work Report, Neville Koopowitz, CEO of Vitality UK writes, “when employers embark on promoting better health among their employees, there are no losers. Employees are healthier, happier, and more engaged with their work: employers benefit from a more productive and motivated workforce, with lower levels of sickness absence.”

These benefits include:

  • Greater employee engagement
  • Enhanced productivity
  • Reduced employee burnout
  • Reduced sick days
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Enhanced positive communication
  • Less stress
  • Increased profitability
  • Attraction and retention of staff
  • Happier healthier people
  • Enhanced communication
  • Resilience

On top of these benefits, the people, the staff, and I mean all of them all the way up to the executive leadership teams, will benefit from a greater understanding of wellness, and will have a better understanding of themselves, their emotions and those of their colleagues.

But what really makes the change is the tool kit that they will all have within their own personal armoury. They will have the knowledge, the skills, and the confidence to manage many situations and scenarios that currently they would not. Situations that may cause them, and those around them, distress, stress, anxiety, panic, mood changes and many more.

They will know what they need to do for themselves, and how to encourage others.

So, what are some of the simple, and easy to achieve tools, tips or activities that we can take part in?

Get out and into nature, embrace the sunshine and fresh air or, when indoors, whether in the home or workspace, bring nature with you by introducing biophilia, which literally means ‘love of life’. This can improve productivity, lower stress levels, enhance learning comprehension, and increase recovery rates from illness.

Researchers have found that more than 90% of people would imagine themselves in a natural setting when asked to think of a place where they felt relaxed and calm. Being in or around nature makes us feel good, our physical and mental wellbeing depends on us spending time in a natural environment and this affects our productivity and general wellbeing too. Source Biophilia – What is it and why is it important? | PlanteriaSimilar benefits can be received in the work place from the installation of corporate plants in commercial spaces.

Exercise, no matter how simple (or intense), as well as eating nutritious food, maintaining good gut health, and keeping energy levels up, can help too.

Relax at work concept. Yoga mat in an office desk

Finding time and space for ourselves, whether this is meditation or reading a good book it important as well, as is laughter – watch a good old comedy (or a new one, of course).

Keep a check on finances, on your vocational ambitions, and recognise how you are feeling in your mind… how is your emotional wellbeing and what are you doing to maintain healthy, positive mindfulness?

By implementing and creating such inclusive, open and caring cultures, conversations that would normally be considered ‘unspeakable’ or ‘not for the office’ will be normalised. People will feel listened to, valued, appreciated, welcome, safe. They will have the tools to understand, be compassionate, caring, and be inclusive to all.

And there you have it, in simplistic terms, to enjoy the journey that wellness takes us on, we need to understand and implement the strategies that work for us, that bring us an overall feeling of wellbeing, and we can now see, and understand, in very simplistic terms, the many benefits to enjoy.

The key now is to get businesses to see, understand, value, and implement strategies within the workplace to complete the circle.

If you have read this, and you would like to know more, or if you would like to find out how we can assist, guide and implement programmes tailored for you, then please do get in touch on:

How to Combat WFH Fatigue

Special guest blog by Katie Henry, Director and Founder of Art in Offices.

Are you still working from home (WFH)? Us too and, to be honest, we’re getting a little tired of it. There are positives, of course; we don’t have to commute and shove ourselves into tin cans for a 30min+ journey into the city, it’s convenient for dropping the kids off at school (when we’re not in lockdown and home-schooling), and yes, we probably see more of our families and other halves (if we’re lucky enough to live with them). We can also raid the fridge for whatever we want and go for walks whenever we want; but there are negatives too.

Office plants

Without the stimulus of group chats, collaborative conversations, and a dedicated working space which separates life from home (not to mention our favourite coffee shop and some lunchtime shopping), we might find our mental health suffering and WFH fatigue setting in.

So what can we do? You’ll be pleased to know there is actually a very simple solution which applies not just to working from home, but to the office environment too. Here’s the simple formula:

Plants + Art = more productive and happier you.

Home Office 1 - Blue Riad

Yep, it really is that simple. As you will have read in previous blogs I’ve written, Dr Craig Knight of the University of Exeter has studied workspaces (in this case offices) and, in his study of 2010, he compared offices which are unenriched (meaning they have no plants or decoration) to those which were.

The results were staggering. Simply adding plants and art increased productivity in the staff by up to 35% and staff wellness increased by 42%. And when we say wellness, we mean people noted less stress, less mental anguish, less anxiety, there were fewer sick days and everyone felt happier. When people were allowed to curate their own space and choose what they had in the office, these figures went up even more.

Bedroom setup with art and plants

So, lucky you, working from home, you have the opportunity now to curate your own workspace and choose which plants and art you have up on the wall! It’s for just this reason that Art in Offices is collaborating with Planteria to provide you with the solution to having both of these things in your home workspace.

Art In Offices have launched a 3-month rental service specifically for your homes, and Planteria has just launched Planteria Homes. Art in Offices offering includes a new range of super affordable prints (which can be rented from just £25 per month) as well as the massive array of paintings they would usually hang in offices.

dreamer art print

And Foli8 is our online shop supplying a selection of quality plants ideal for the home, which can be delivered to your home or the home of your employees anywhere in the UK.

We are both offering discount codes to our loyal follower and clients, which can be found on our social media and newsletters or get in touch to organise.

But why does this work? What is it about plants and art that increase our productivity and our wellness?

In the case of art, the reason it makes us more productive is because it creates an atmosphere we enjoy working in. There are stimulating things to look at, our brains are constantly stimulated and when we get screen fatigue there is something enjoyable to look at and get lost in, until your brain feels ready to start again.

In the case of plants, the greenery gets us back to nature and the outdoors (the natural habitat for humans who have been farming and living in the landscape for millennia), they purify the air, add texture and interest and something to nurture (even for those of us who aren’t green-fingered – we might still say hello to them).

Phlebodium Aureum

It’s all about creating an atmosphere that’s conducive to making you feel happy, which is why those figures shoot up when people get to decide themselves what they see (we all have different tastes after all).

Right now, we all need to be doing things that make us happy, so add some plants and art to your space, and feel the difference it makes to your day.

5 Ways to Make Your Home Workspace a More Inspirational Place to Work

Special guest blog by Nadia Themistocleous, Designer at Trifle* Creative.

An inspiring workspace will help you focus, be more productive and more enthused about sitting down to work. If you’re drawing a blank when you sit down to work or simply don’t even fancy taking a seat then perhaps consider a few of these tips to help you feel a little more energised, ready and want to work…

plants in office

Tip 1 – Get some plants and plan some outdoor breaks

Critical for good air, mental breaks and overall wellbeing; outdoor breaks are scientifically proven to increase productivity, creativity and attention span. Connecting to nature is a basic need and that’s why surrounding yourself with plants has such a good impact too. Planteria Home was born to support staff working from home and you can arrange to gift, or buy at a discount for your organisation.

Tip 2 – A desk and chair that really works

Sitting at the kitchen table might be alright for a few hours but it’s really not conducive to productivity or any good for your posture. The reality is that working from home will be part of the future so invest in some proper kit. Workplace designers Trifle* offer a great collection. The Homework Bureau package is part of their HomeWork collection and is the in-house favourite.

Planteria home desk and plant

Tip 3 – Curate your space

Have items around you that inspire and uplift (books, reference, imagery, art, objects, photos). It’s good to let your mind wander occasionally as it triggers your subconscious which lets you come up with great ideas. Fine art dealer Art in Offices has diversified from its corporate client base with its art rental for homes offering and a selection of affordable prints to buy.

wall art

Tip 4 – Crack out a great playlist

“Music is the strongest form of magic.” – Marilyn Manson. Music can have an incredibly powerful influence on our mood. If you need to get yourself out of a rut, concentrate or just feel a little happier about things, get a good playlist on the go, it can really help.

Tip 5 – Scent your space

Think about all your senses. Smell isn’t considered that much at the workplace (apart from when it’s bad) but it can also help you in the same way music can. Creating a calm or even feeling energised can be impacted by the scent in your space. It’s definitely a good excuse to justify yourself a nice candle.

We LOVE The Urban Jungle Trend

Having just a solitary plant by the window is no longer the norm – offices across the nation are creating their own little patches of green and incorporating plants into their interior décor.

The benefits of a green office space are many, from mental wellbeing to lower levels of stress. Green Plants for Green Buildings say that a productive office includes biophilic design or bringing the outside in. The urban jungle trend can help you accomplish this goal – and it’s a trend that we love here at Planteria.

Planteria Urban Jungle

Why Do We Love the Urban Jungle Trend So Much?

By adding planters, plant stands, indoor plants, hanging plants and more to the office, you can create a ‘jungle’ in the building or workspace (and even at home!) that boosts people’s wellbeing and productivity.

And, at Planteria, we believe this interior trend is here to stay.

For a start, this is not a new concept, as people have been trying to create ‘jungle vibes’ in their home and place of work for a long time. If you look at the popularity of hashtags such as #urbanjungle, #junglestyle and #junglehome on Instagram, it’s clear this trend is not just a fad.

For example, there are almost 5 million posts just with the #urbanjungle tag!

Instagram

Also, with a growing number of people living in cities (it’s estimated that, by 2050, there will be 2.4 billion more people in cities), bringing the jungle indoors is an increasingly attractive option.

It’s difficult for us to imagine life without greenery, so it’s no wonder that the urban jungle trend appeals so much to us. Plants can create a soothing atmosphere and are a brilliant addition to commercial spaces in general, including offices.

Urban Jungle

After all, an office full of bright colours and vivid greens will make people feel at ease (since it meets their biophilic needs) and reduces employees’ stress levels. We also believe an indoor jungle can improve air quality, boost people’s moods and create a happier workplace, which is why we love this trend so much.

How Easy Is It to Reproduce the Trend at Work?

The short answer is that it’s incredibly easy to bring the jungle indoors.

You don’t have to go as far as Amazon, who really took the jungle look to the next level by building the Spheres. These giant biodomes in their Seattle headquarters allow staff to escape the office and work surrounded by nature:

If you’re considering rewilding your interior, there are two things you must take into account:

  • That, besides the aesthetic, the space has to maintain its functionality as well.
  • And that you need to pick the right plants for your office.

So, with this in mind, make sure that the layout of your workplace still makes sense. The visual appeal and impact of the plants are undeniable, but you also want your employees and visitors to be able to easily navigate the office without obstacles in the way, for instance.

The urban jungle look is all about more plants and more coverage, so don’t skip the walls either – living walls or potted plants on walls can add to the jungle effect and maximise your floor space at the same time.

Planteria's Urban Jungle

Choosing the right plants for the office is also important because you want something that is easy to maintain. Plants require TLC to look their best and offices are usually busy places so, in order to keep up the jungle look, low effort plants and flowers should be top choice.  You can however leave that to us at Planteria Group and we can help pick the best ones for your space, and look after them for you too!

What’s So Fun About the Urban Jungle Trend?

Plants are a source of inspiration and this trend can help people to reconnect with nature and unleash their creativity. What’s more, plants bring life into interiors as well – if you remove all plants from a space, it’s easy to see how empty and boring it can look.

The urban jungle trend also allows people to have fun taking care of something living and to contribute to the aesthetic of their own home workspace, which appeals to many home jungle fans who prefer plants to pets, they are both cheaper and easier to care for and don’t require walking!

Urban Jungle Planteria

How Can Planteria Help?

Our expert plant technicians create solutions tailored to your workspace. We always take the building design and restrictions into consideration, which includes humidity levels, lighting and heat; this allows us to create a bespoke design that matches your unique requirements.

Our knowledge of office plants is unrivalled and we make sure to match your corporate image and select the right plants for your environment as well.

We have a wide range of plants to choose from, so you’ll be spoilt for choice with Planteria. From Dracaena Lemon Limes and Anthuriums to Sansevieria and Aglaonema Stripes, we provide beautiful plants for any type of office and sector, including hotels, restaurants and offices of every shape and size!

Planteria Urban

We offer many options for corporate plants at Planteria, so get in touch today to learn more about them and how we can help create an urban jungle in your office.

The Hottest Plant Trends Right Now – Green Plants Are Good For You

Where are you right now?  Whilst some are working from the office, others are working from home.  Where ever you are, you’ll likely agree that your environment is very important, perhaps now more than ever.  That’s not surprising when you consider that your environment plays a big part in impacting your frame of mind.

The World Happiness Report 2020 concludes that globally, there is evidence suggesting that being exposed to green natural environments improves mental well-being, reducing stress, increasing positive emotions and cognitive restoration.

The report goes on to say that “The health benefits of green, natural environments may also have an indirect positive impact by encouraging certain behaviours, for example, physical health and longevity, and thereby happiness”.   Given that most of us spend around 90% of our time indoors and with restrictions on socialising because of Covid19, and the winter coming, this is not likely to reduce, we seriously need to think about how to include some nature into our indoor environments both at home and in the office (which may be the same place!).

One of the easiest ways to add some greenery to your life is with houseplants.  We take a look at our TOP FIVE plants, those that are most loved and coveted by our Corporate Clients.  The great news in that these plants work just as well in the home as they do in the office!

 

Ficus Lyrata

This is a beautifully tall, majestic plant with large oval deep green leaves, also called a Fiddle Leaf Fig.  Could it be the ‘INNEST’ plant of 2020?  This is the plant featured in every interior design magazine.

Don’t be put off owning one of these as they only require a moderate amount of attention.  Allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out between water applications, and go easy, don’t let the plant to sit in water as they are susceptible to root rot if they stay to wet. Originating from the tropics, misting the leaves every couple of days will provide a good amount of humidity for this plant to thrive.

A beautiful Ficus Lyrata in the home

Monstera Deliciosa

Another stunner with an equally wonderful name!  This plant originates from the rainforests of Southern Mexico and is most commonly known as a ‘Cheese Plant’ due to the holes in its distinctive green leaves.  This is a favourite with our clients for providing real impact and is often used in a cluster of 3 mixed plants in a corner of a board room or reception.

Easy to care for, water every week or so allowing the top soil to dry out before watering, and mist regularly to create a humid environment.

Monstera deliciosaRhipsalis

This pretty, frondy plant, looks great hanging up or on a desk or coffee table.  It has become a real favourite with our clients as the trend for accessory planting has grown.  This trend is all about using planting as an integral part of the design scheme, using a large amount of planting arranged in racking or on shelving, featuring containers that pick out the accent shades of soft furnishings.

Also known as ‘Mistletoe Cactus’, Rhipsalis has fast-growing bright green tendrils. Originating from the rainforests of central and south America, this plant will add a tropical feel to your home, and as an added benefit, it’s a great air purifier.

Rhipsalis is easy going and needs a light touch on the watering.  Don’t over-water and always check soil moisture levels first. The top 2 inches of soil should be dry before any additional water is applied, usually once every 1.5 weeks depending on light and room temperature levels.

rhipsalis in an orange hanging potFicus Benjamina Tree

Ficus ‘Benjamina’ is one of over 800 species of Ficus, this evergreen plant is relatively easy to care for if positioned in the right location. Commonly nicknamed ‘Weeping Fig’ for its long drooping branches and clusters of small oval shaped leaves, this plant will add a jungle feel to any home.

Benjaminia needs a little more t.l.c, give her regular watering, again a good rule to follow is to check the top 2 inches of soil before watering, allow this to dry out between water applications, but do not allow your plant to sit in water as she is susceptible to root rot.  Mist once a week with filtered water to replicate a humid environment and do not allow to dry out completely.

Ficus benjamina in the home
Calathea Medalion

Calathea ‘Medallion’ is another favourite of our clients.  We often plant this with other mixed plants of a similar size to provide a real jungle feel in cabinet top planters or troughs.  It is equally as lovely on its own, with its large, oval shaped leaves and distinctive green purple and pink variegation, this plant is a real showstopper. The common saying “to turn over a new leaf” is thought to originate from the Calathea, as their leaves close up at night and re-open in the morning.

Calathea is fairly easy to keep, make sure the soil is evenly moist and do not allow to completely dry out, water once a week after checking the moisture levels. The top 1 inch of soil should be dry before adding water, mist leaves once a week and never use leaf shine.

Calathea 'Medallion' at home

We hope we have inspired you to think about hiring some office plants, or even enjoying a bit of greenery by getting some plants for your home office!

Don’t forget to follow us on our socials, or sign up for our emails, for all the latest tips and news.

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, office 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.

 

 

Outside Spaces and How to Make the Most of Them

Outside spaces at the workplace can often be forgotten about, but we’re looking to change that.  An outside space can be a place for relaxation, re-energising, and creativity.  We strive to encourage more businesses to incorporate popular biophilic trends by blurring the lines between indoors and out – and we love to discuss the benefits of doing so.

Here, you can learn about some of the best ways to use your outdoors spaces, as well as how to bring a piece of the outdoors into your establishment with indoor office plants.

Flexible Meeting Spaces

If you’re working in close proximity to a park or garden, using this space to hold meetings could prove to be great for morale – especially during warm weather.  Of course, we wouldn’t recommend hosting any meetings that will include information that is confidential to your clients, but taking a break from the office to discuss internal changes, processes or brainstorming will maintain efficiency with time, and may even help your workers to stay productive later into the working day.

 

Informal Lunch Area

Many offices have difficulty keeping their indoor air quality at healthy levels, so encouraging staff to take a break in the outdoors can improve  health and concentration. Particle pollution is known to poorly affect physical and mental health, and indoor spaces are typically ten times worse for this pollution than outdoors. Taking a break from particle pollution can do wonders for the help and headspace of your staff, so if it’s a nice day – why not suggest a picnic? Ideally, if you do have some viable outdoor space at your office, providing table and chairs to create an alfresco area which can be used for eating, taking a coffee break or having an informal meeting is an excellent idea.

Breakout!

Help to boost health and wellbeing, by turning your outdoor space into a useable attractive area for a quick spell outside for formalised lunchtimes. When under duress a break outside can help staff to reset and return with a fresh can-do attitude, whether they’ve just struggled with an intense call with a client or business partner, or a busy morning with back-to-back activity. Plants and nature have plenty of restorative qualities. Your business could easily be enjoying these benefits with minimal cost.  The added benefit of topping up vitamin D levels in the sunshine and taking in the view of green plants will also help to improve immune systems to work optimally and keep your workforce healthier and happier.

Bringing the Outdoors IN

In many cases, a green attractive outdoor space may not be within a lunchtime walking distance of the office.  And you may not be lucky enough to have accessible outdoor space of your own.  In this case, you may be looking to bring aspects of the outdoors into your workspace so that staff and guests can still reap some of the benefits of natural elements and plants.

Looking around your office, you may find some areas that can easily be converted into a green space. Think about you dining area, or communal areas such as locker tops, or break out rooms.  Here are some popular methods that modern businesses use to bring biophilic benefits into their place of work:

Entrances

Often overlooked but integral to the first impressions of your business, the entrance can be a fabulous place to start adding some greenery.  Not only important for your guests, a green entrance will suggest positivity to your workers as they enter and leave your establishment.

There are a number of methods for increasing your kerb-appeal, including window boxes and external green walls, but you might also choose to add an internal moss wall to your lobby area, large and unique planting options by the door, and table posies in waiting areas.

If you’re interested about installing a moss wall or green living wall for your business, we recommend reading our blogs on this topic:

Can I have a Living Wall?

It’s Alive! Buildings with Living Walls

Moss Walls: Q & A

 

Roof

Green roofing is a brilliant idea – looking out for your office window, a green roof nearby brings brilliant rural landscapes a little closer to city-orientated businesses. Our brains respond very positively to colour, and views to nature so the sight of a verdant green roof could prove to be quite inspiring, boosting productivity and creativity.

There may be a group near you that you can help to get involved with green initiatives. A BID (Business Improvement District) will typically group neighbouring businesses in an effort to improve their local working area together, and sometimes, this might include making their views greener by collaboratively installing green roofs.

Balcony and Terraces

Balconies and terraces can be a great place for workers to enjoy a brief respite in the fresh air, but you can bring nature even closer by installing some beautiful window boxes or planters to add to the relaxing vibe and make them visually beautiful.

Could your business be making more of outside spaces, or is it more feasible for you to create some green spaces inside your own office area?  We love all things biophilic and can help you with any green design queries that you might have, so speak to one of our friendly team about your ideas soon.

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US

Biophilia & other Reasons to Have Plants in the Workplace

If you’ve been reading about the buzzword Biophilia but have yet to understand what the buzz is about, then we’ve made a helpful infographic for you, designed to show you the amazing relationships that can occur between workers and plants in the modern office.

Plants truly are amazing. If you’re looking to improve your office space with some smart greenery, why not enhance your office with our office plants for hire service. Impress your workers and guests with an outstanding boardroom, ensure that they remember you as an innovative and forward-thinking company by transforming your spaces into greener, healthier, places to enjoy working in.

planteria group infographic

And if you’re interested in reading more about the joys of biophilia and the many benefits of plants, we have plenty of blogs to keep you up-to-date on the latest hints, tips and news:

   Biophilia – What is It and Why is it Important

   Indoor Air Quality: Facts & How to Improve

   The Best Plants for Your Office Environment

   Biophilic Design in the Workplace

World FM Day 2018: Enabling Positive Experiences

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It’s #WorldFMDay – Hurrah! We’re joining in the celebrations and recognition of Facilities Management (FM) people and projects that enable positive experiences. Some of our biggest clients are FM companies and BIFM members, so we know a thing or two about helping get things right for you and your clients.

In today’s world our cities are so built up and our environments often claustrophobic and bland so it’s more important than ever that we work together to create welcoming, feel-good spaces to enable businesses (and people) to thrive.

What could be more suitable than floristry and green planting to bring positive changes to the built environment?   Planteria Group has 40 years of experience working with FM companies providing planting and floristry services to suit your budget.  Even if you’re already working with another planting provider, we’re confident we can go above and beyond to meet your requirements.  If you’re considering us, why not request a no-obligation free quote?

 

5 Positive Benefits of Planting for the Built Environment:

1) Soften the interior and/or exterior of your business, providing psychological benefits such as positive effects on reducing stress and promoting health and well-being. As humans we have an innate desire to be connected to nature, also known as biophilia, and it seems we have lost much of this ability to be in the natural world as our cities and work environments have become absorbed by the concrete jungle. By adding a variety of plants and flowers for businesses we suddenly bring back a part of the nature that we crave.

2) Increase productivity, creativity and happiness. It is proven that a vibrant, welcoming environment has positive effects on the speed at which we work and improves mood. Studies show that employees who are exposed to plants within the workplace, actively engage with their surroundings, are more productive and have a more positive outlook at work.

3) Make spaces more welcoming and inviting for employees, visitors and clients. Having a space that is pleasant to be in and beckons to visitors has a positive effect on businesses and improves perception of their image. Plants and flowers bring life to a space and boosts eco-credentials too.

4) Improve air quality and reduce allergens by cleansing the air. As shown in NASA’s Clean Air Study, plants provide a natural way of removing toxins from the air and also reduces the presence of aggravating allergens. NASA researchers suggest efficient air cleaning is accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space.

5) Reduce sickness and absence at work. Combining all of the points above results in reduced illness and time away from work, increasing the overall effectiveness of businesses and staff wellbeing. One of the most common illnesses in today’s workplace is Sick Building Syndrome which is often linked to poor air quality and indoor air circulation which can easily be combated with a variety of planting solutions.

A recent Norwegian research study tested what happened when plants were placed into and then removed from offices. When plants were present headaches, coughs, sore throats, fatigue and dry skin all reduced. Several similar studies around the world have found similar results:

  • Absenteeism reduced by 30%+
  • Minor illnesses reduced by up to 30%
  • Dry skin reduced by up to 20%
  • Coughing reduced by up 37% due to improved air quality

Interested in how we can offer similar improvements for you?

Have a look at some of our Creative Planting Innovations & our Nationwide Orchid Delivery Service.

Contact Us Today or Request a Free Online Quote.

Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for regular updates, inspiration and case studies.

The Three Pillars of Biophilic Design

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Biophilia is a current buzzword in the world of well-being and workplace design. Planteria Group have written a White Paper on the subject, and there are lots of excellent in-depth pieces of work backed by research if you want to discover all aspects of this fascinating topic.

This blog article serves a bite sized look at one of the aspects of Biophilia…. the different types of Biophilic Models that exist.

There are three pillar concepts to biophilia based design.

 

1. Nature in The Space

This refers to adding natural elements into the built environment. This is perhaps the easiest and cheapest way to introduce Biophilia to the workplace or living space and gives people instant access to all the feelgood associations of biophilia. Think potted plants and animals – for example fish tanks, office dogs and pets. Views to nature from the inside of the building, natural light, and direct access to nature like courtyards, gardens and roof terraces planted with greenery, also fall into this category. These direct connections to nature have the strongest impact on us as humans.

 

2. Natural Analogues

This concept refers to man-made elements that mimic nature. Artificial plants, preserved moss walls, representational artwork, patterns and architecture that evoke nature are all examples of natural analogues. Furniture with organic rather than geometric shapes. Woodgrain and building materials mimicking shells and leaves used in interior of exterior decoration are all excellent illustrations of the use of natural analogues.

Many benefits can be reaped from including natural analogues into a space, including reduced stress levels increased feelings of well-being and improved levels of productivity.

 

3. Nature of the Space

This concept refers to the physiological way in which space planning and architectural design affect our human responses and feelings. As a species we have evolved over millennia and our success is partially due to our ability to connect with nature. We are intuitively drawn to environments that will serve us and allow us to thrive or, entice us to explore. For this reason we find a Savannah landscape, with broad vistas of rolling pastures and a source of water such as lakes or a view of the sea to be the most attractive view.

We also find views involving mystery or even risk and peril as exciting, this explains our love of skyscrapers, and multilevel views such as mezzanines, atriums and spiral staircase as intriguing. Architects have capitalised on our innate affinity for these types of environments in their building designs.

Gaining more knowledge and insight into this subject is helping decision makers in the world of workplace management, design and build for happier and healthier businesses of the future.

 

Sources and Suggested Reading:

The Economics of Biophilia – Why Designing with Nature in Mind Makes Financial Sense. 2012 Terrapin Bright Green LLC

https://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com/reports/the-economics-of-biophilia/

Biophilia (1984) New Ed by EO Wilson (ISBN: 9780674074422)

Human Spaces: http://humanspaces.com/

Planteria Group Biophilia white paper:

https://www.planteriagroup.com/blog/biophilia-white-paper-/29

Kellert et al., 2008

Biederman & Vessel, 2006

https://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com/reports/14-patterns/

Edward O Wilson – “Biophilia”

International Nurses Day

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May is an important month for health, nurses and mental health awareness.

Every year on May 12th we celebrate International Nurses Day. Nurses save lives and create wellbeing and International Nurses Day is a day in which nurses around the world are celebrated for the fantastic work that they do on a daily basis. It also happens to be Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

Following this, beginning on the second Monday in May for one week, is #MentalHealthAwareness week, in which activities to raise awareness about mental health will be encouraged across the country. This year’s theme is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.

Keeping yourself healthy is a key factor to longevity; therefore, making small changes throughout your routine today could benefit you greatly in later life.

Some of these changes are easier to identify, such as eating healthier food and exercising regularly.

However, a fact that some might be unaware of are the health benefits that plants and flowers can bring to the individual.

 

The Benefits of Flowers

In addition to being visually beautiful and having an appealing scent, flowers and plants also hold several proven health benefits.

1. Flowers Improve Anxiety

Most widely reported is the reduction in anxiety levels that flowers can provide.

For those suffering from anxiety, which is a third of us in the UK, flowers are said to restore some short-term calm and alleviate stress.

 

2. Flowers Can Improve Memory

A brilliant health benefit of flowers and plants, rosemary in particular, is the fact that they can sharpen the individual’s powers of recall.

In a 2015 experiment by Northumbria University, professors found that individuals who were surrounded by rosemary were able to remember more items from a specifically designed test as opposed to participants who had been surrounded with no flora.

 

3. Flowers Encourage Productivity

Through providing visual stimulation, flowers can encourage productivity in the workplace and increase brain performance.

Whilst a minimalist office might appear better to some, an office with plenty of plants and flowers can have a greater effect on the amount of work produced in it.

 

4. Flowers Can Fast-track Recovery

Many individuals report recovering quicker when surrounded with gifts of flowers and plants. There are many studies which prove that views of nature have a significant impact on patient outcomes, healing rates and also reduction of pain perception. This study showed the effects the environmental design plays on a patient’s outcome.

This is due to a number of factors: relieving stress and providing stimulation being only a couple.

 

5. Flowers Can Improve Mood

As flowers and plants are visually stunning, their appearance can improve the mood of those admiring them.

In addition, the injection of colour can brighten up a workspace, and the incredible fragrances ensure that the room is inviting and fresh.

 

6. Flowers and Plants Purify the Air

Indoor air-pollution within the workplace is an issue which contributes to thousands of sick days being taken each year.

This is when stagnant air sits within the building and has no opportunity to be circulated.

Flowers and plants can be used to combat this issue, as they absorb VCOP’s from the air as they take in carbon dioxide, and give off oxygen, thus purifying the air.

 

Healing Gardens

All of these health benefits are recognised in hospitals and other healthcare facilities throughout the implementation of healing gardens.

Healing gardens are areas of colourful flowers and plants where a patient can visit to promote recovery, find refuge and benefit from the peaceful surroundings.

In addition, in human nature is the innate desire to be near natural components such as flowers and plants.

This is called biophilia, and healing gardens provide the perfect access to these benefits.

 

Consider corporate flower bouquets to improve the working environment at your company – contact Planteria today.

It’s Alive! Buildings With Living Walls

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Sadly, now that Halloween is over for another year, this isn’t an exposé on haunted houses, but it is about the benefits of biophilia. By adding a living wall to your building or office, you are more likely to improve your employee retention rates. This article will look at some of the benefits of having an office moss wall, whilst looking at some of the most inspiring uses of nature on buildings from around the world. Could your building be the next Churchill Arms?

 

The Benefits of Living Walls, Moss Walls and Living Pictures

It is well known that having plants in an office has many benefits. For example they can increase motivation and productivity by up to 15%. This means that smart employers are sure to be investing money in greener office environments. Some employers, especially smaller start-ups, might worry about the amount of space required to make an office green – a legitimate concern – which is one of the reasons why an office moss wall, or a living picture is an attractive option.

Living walls make use of space that isn’t being used already; without taking up precious floor space, they still offer all the benefits of having plants in the office. Faux versions are also available, whilst not so environmentally friendly, they do have the benefit of being low maintenance and long lasting and will give the outdoors indoors look.

In the past offices were often minimalist and stark, featuring black, grey and chrome. This look suggests power and efficiency, but an austere interior does not allow for individuality and it does not encourage creativity either.

We recommend that offices steer away from this power-oppressive mindset, and instead employ more plants into their designs. This will bring an eco-friendly touch, and with a specialised office moss wall, you won’t be sacrificing the professional aesthetic of your office either.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate an office moss wall into your building. By looking at some of the world’s most famous living walls, you might find yourself feeling quite inspired.

 

Cidade Jardim Shopping Mall (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

The Cidade Jardim shopping centre is inspired by the world’s most luxurious streets, and it makes extensive use of plants both indoors and out, and each of its stores overlooks a modern garden.

Cidade Jardim is Portuguese for ‘Garden City’, which could not be more true for this shopping centre. Climbing plants festoon the walls and balconies, and the floor gardens between the shops have natural-styled chairs for shoppers to take rest in.

 

The Churchill Arms Pub (Kensington, London, UK)

The Cidade Jardim shows how lots of plants can be used in a retail setting, but the Churchill Arms shows the draw of a spectacular planting display extravaganza that cannot be missed. Every year, The Churchill Arms beats every other establishment in London with its Christmas cheer, which has a noteworthy effect on its sales, too.

Each Christmas, punters flock to book their meal at the infamously Christmassy Churchill Arms in Kensington. It truly is a sight to behold. Consider what kind of audience your business attracts, and whether you too could benefit from showing off your Christmas cheer. When it comes to commercial Christmas Trees, you’ll be wanting the best if you want to stand out.

 

Edgware Road Tube Station (Marylebone, London, UK)

London is becoming greener and greener each year. The Churchill Arms is one example of green Christmas cheer, but living walls can thrive all year round. The Edgware Road tube station in Marylebone, London, is one such example of an outdoor living wall that is not just eco-friendly, but artful too.

Holding an amazing 14,000 plants from 15 different species, Edgeware Road is a vibrant example of how you can attract attention to your business through living walls. These plants curl around one another in waves of colour and texture that really catch the eye.

 

Moss Walls

Moss walls are a fantastic option for businesses looking to make their offices greener. They are low-maintenance, space-friendly, and very decorative. Differing from other living walls, moss walls (made from preserved moss) do not require water or light and will neither grow nor decompose.

We stock moss in 16 different colours, and we’re able to create an entirely personal design for your office moss wall, such as your company logo.

Keep your building or office looking lively by introducing more plants. Your employees will surely benefit from it, and therefore so will your business.

If you have any questions about living walls or office moss walls, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. Likewise, if your creativity has been sparked by some of the amazing walls we’ve covered in this article, why not request your free quote on a moss wall today?