World Pet Day – Put Pets in Your Office?


Biophilia is all about our connection to the natural world, but does that connection extend to our four-legged friends that we might find snoozing between the office plants at work? In celebration of World Pet Day on April 11th, we’re using this space to talk about those pets which are currently bringing peace to office environments across the world. We will be considering whether office pets could be part of the move towards biophilia, how they benefit your workers, and which are best for the office.

Are Office Pets Part of Biophilic Design?

To answer this question, we first need to understand what is meant by biophilic design. We have already written plenty of blogs discussing the topic, such as Biophilic Design in The Workplace – What’s it all about? and Biophilia – What is it and why is it important?, but we’ll sum it up for you again here with a quote from biologist E. O. Wilson:

“Biophilia is an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world.” – The Biophilia Hypothesis, 1984

Biophilic design, therefore, is an environment which works towards satisfying human urges to be amongst natural elements, therefore providing powerful relief during moments of tension and high stress by being amongst plants and wildlife. There have been plenty of studies since The Biophilia Hypothesis which can scientifically support Wilson’s claims such as Dr Knight’s study; lean offices decorated with indoor office plants can increase productivity by 15%.

Following the fact that office flowers and plants have been shown to have useful effects in the office, our next question is whether adding an office pet to your already biophilic office would have any benefits for your staff’s well-being.

Following the fact that office flowers and plants have been shown to have useful effects in the office, our next question is whether adding an office pet to your already biophilic office would have any benefits for your staff’s well-being.

Considering that biophilia is a human connection to the natural world, it would make sense that animals would have similar benefits to plant life in the office since it’s all biophilia. On the other hand, it is easier to find plants that won’t incur allergies amongst your staff, or worse – scare and grey husky police dog

How Can Pets Benefit Your Workers?

Pets can benefit your office in several ways, but one of the most useful is that they act as a social lubricant. Having an office dog or cat is an easy way into conversation and can really benefit those employees who work hard but struggle to hold a conversation with their co-workers. An office pet bridges that gap by functioning as a shared hobby that can be applied across the office.

Pets are also known to reduce stress, a 2001 study found that patients with pets were better able to keep their blood pressure levels low than those without pets. This could be especially useful in an office environment where stressful situations may occur quite frequently. Alternatively, having pets present could mean that your staff will successfully handle greater responsibilities because the office pet will help with any accompanying stress.

Why Are Office Pets Gaining Popularity?

Google’s official code of conduct states that ‘affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture’, and they’re not alone – Amazon’s headquarters have around 2,000 pets registered to appear whenever employees wish to bring their pet to work. Even Forbes have allowed pets into their offices and have reported that ‘the atmosphere is warmer and more sociable’. Smaller companies are likely following their lead, causing a rise in office pets around the world.

cute small dog with pen in mouth

Which Pets Are Best for an Office?

It depends on your office; a dog might be well loved by most, but perhaps most of your workforce would prefer a sociable cat. Alternatively, an aquarium requires far less maintenance but also has far fewer of the advantages that four-legged furry creatures can provide. For example, you don’t receive the same comfort from petting a fish, and they are far less likely to be a talking point in the office. Also, your staff will never be inclined to take the fish outside for a refresher (hopefully), which is an activity that could be very beneficial for staff.

Many offices suffer from sick building syndrome, as explained in our blog about poor Indoor Air Quality: Facts & How To Improve. Essentially, illness caused by poor ventilation in your office could be solved by improving your ventilation, introducing indoor plants to reduce dust and particulate matter, and encouraging your staff to take their breaks outside to stock up on a little fresh air which will help them to stay alert.

Keeping an office cat or dog will necessitate staff trips to let the dog or cat out which can provide health benefits for staff, as well as relief for the animal. On the other hand, a trip to the outdoors can seem a bit of chore in the rain – which is when indoor plant alternatives really shine for improving office health. Rain or shine, indoor office plants will always be there to boost creativity, productivity and health in your office – and you won’t need to drag them outside for a bathroom trip in poor winter weather.

cute tabby kitten with front paws pressed together

To conclude, a lot of offices across the world are finding positives in bringing their pets to work, but if you’re not ready to commit to bringing the animal kingdom into your office – and sorting through the insurance policies that they might interfere with – then you can reap the same benefits that they bring by redesigning your office to incorporate more plant life.

Alternatively, if you’re already enjoying life with an office pet and want to further improve your office to suit staff and animals alike, we’re sure that bringing more plants into your office will bring joy to everyone.

small living picture in white office

Bring and Share Christmas Food!


Christmas and New Year’s festivities are a must for offices across the country – the chance to create some merriment and festivity in the, normally corporate workspace, with decoration and celebration is important for the wellbeing of many workers, not ignoring the fact that it’s also a lot of fun! A great way to celebrate it is with a bring and share – an event that encourages everyone to contribute together to make some delicious treats for all to enjoy!

Raise Morale and Celebrate with Some Delicious Treats

Not every company wants to host a Christmas party, and this could be for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t mean that you should forgo celebrations altogether. There is plenty that you can do within working hours to raise staff morale without impinging on their own commitments. Hosting a bring and share is a perfect example of how you can satisfy staff desires to celebrate Christmas or the new year without cutting into their personal time. The event could also be used as a charity fund raiser giving an extra incentive for everyone in the office to get involved, either in baking or sampling the food, on a day set with more of a relaxed atmosphere and a little more socialising.

It’s also a great idea to reward those individuals who are striving to keep the business running over the Christmas period.

A plate of mince pies and a glass of milk in front of Christmas tree. Two mince pies have pastry toppings with stars embossed on them whereas the other two have stars cut into their pastry topping

Inspiration for a Brilliant Office Bring & Share

Firstly, if you are going to be getting into the Christmas spirit in your office, then we fully recommend investing in a Christmas tree to get everyone in the festive mood.

The Planteria New Business Team will be enjoying a thoroughly Christmassy celebration this year, complete with decorated tree and plenty of food contributions from our colleagues. We’ve collected a selection of our tried and tested favourite Christmassy contributions for a bring and share, to inspire you:

Photo of Katie Chevalier on christmas baublePhoto of Caroline Armon Jones on Christmas BaublePhoto of Jill Gregory on Christmas BaublePhoto of Nicola Hamblin on Christmas BaublePhoto of Sarah Kingham on Christmas BaublePhoto of Clare Robertson on Christmas BaubleWe’re bringing more than just food to the table; we’re also looking forward to engaging in a few Christmas activities, such as wreath making whilst listening to some classic Christmas songs.

Close up of two people's hands while they make Christmas Wreaths

Tips for Making Your Own Cheese Scones

Cheese scones are a classic twist on your favourite plate of afternoon tea, and they are incredibly easy to make too! All you need to do is add some cheese to your classic scone recipe, perhaps with a pinch of pepper and salt added to ensure that your scones are a truly savoury sensation. Other recommendations include adding spring onions and chives to the cheesy topping to add a little heat and variation in colour too. If you are concerned about your scones looking a little pale, then choose a darker cheese such as a red Leicester to make them stand out as perfectly scrumptious.

These taste especially exquisite when paired with some roasted or sundried tomatoes, but it can be quite easy to accidentally fill up on these treats before you have had the opportunity to try the rest of the dishes on the table.

Cheese Scones arranged on a blue gingham tea towel

If you want a go at replicating some of the Planteria team’s favourite dishes, here are some recipes for you to use as guidance! Good luck!

Cheese Scones

Christmas Tree Gingerbread

Marzipan Mince Pies

Malteser Tiffin

Mary Berry’s Christmas Cake

Sausage Rolls

Ready for Christmas

If you’re thinking about Christmas already, then you should know that you’re on the right track for enjoying a spectacular and super-organised Christmas period. We understand that there is plenty to do and think about, so let us handle your  Office Christmas Tree preparations. Order now with our configurator to ensure that you receive the perfect tree this December.

Planteria Group installed Christmas Tree within corporate office. The tree stands arround 20 ft tall, with two men either side looking up at the top of it

A Planteria Christmas Tree

Christmas Infographic! Corporate Party Planning


Planning the perfect corporate Christmas party can be extremely gratifying, but we also recognise that any business get-together comes with its trials and tribulations. Fortunately, we understand the importance of a professional party and are here to offer our assistance with a beautiful new infographic:

Corporate Christmas Party Infographic

As can be expected, British offices vary in how they celebrate the festive period, so we’ve gathered some facts for you to enjoy here:

86% of organisations will host a Christmas Party!
70% of organisations offer flexible hours during the festive period
55% of employers give their staff gifts
60% of employers don’t ask their teams how they want to celebrate!
51% of organisations share end-of-year results
Above facts sourced from  Perkbox.

Of the offices that do host Christmas parties…

25% are expecting an all-expenses paid for occasion
14% will have their event subsidised
15% will receive a Christmas bonus
10% will receive a gift
28% thought their employer could do more for the company at Christmas
Above facts sourced from  Onrec.

Also, did you know that Birmingham has the highest Christmas party expenditures per employee on average? A total of £37.06 per employee, compared to Exeter’s £8.76 at the bottom of the table, although other studies place London at the height of Christmas spending, so it all depends who you ask.

In the end, though, it all totals to around £1bn spent nationally by businesses celebrating the festive season.

We hope our infographic has helped you to plan an amazing Christmas this year, but don’t forget to order your  Office Christmas Tree  with us soon!

The Top 5 Plants for Your Office

Everyone who has ever worked in an office knows that plants and flowers add to the atmosphere of a workplace. The buzz of background noise can not only be distracting, but can also increase levels of stress – particularly in open-plan offices where space is at a premium. You can reduce noise problems with plants because they absorb sound, making your office quieter and calmer.

Positioning plants in strategic locations around your office will create natural sound barriers. Even if you’re not buying plants for their sound reduction benefits, their potential to improve staff productivity and well-being means that even the smallest tree could work wonders for your office. This was discovered by a research experiment at Texas A&M University, which explored the link between flowers, plants and workplace productivity during an eight-month study.

Those taking part in the study performed creative problem solving tasks in a workplace with plants and flowers, a setting with sculptures, and an environment with no additional planting or decoration at all.

Participants were found to demonstrate more innovative thinking and generate more ideas and original solutions to problems in the office that included plants and flowers. Men who participated in the study generated 15% more ideas, whilst women generated more creative, flexible solutions to problems when plants and flowers were present.

With this in mind, we thought we’d share with you the top 5 office plants requested by our clients.

1.       Sansevieria Fernwood or Sansevieria Mikado

Sansevieria is a genus of about 70 species of flowering plants, native to Africa, Madagascar and southern Asia. Common names include snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, devil’s tongue, jinn’s tongue, bow string hemp and snake tongue. These are great air purifiers, making them perfect for offices.

2.       Succulents

These plants have thick and fleshy leaves which are used to retain water in the arid climates where they are native. The word “succulent” comes from the Latin word sucus, meaning juice, or sap. They come in a variety of sizes, colours and shades, which can allow for many beautiful combinations.

3.       Phalaenopsis Orchid

Also known as moth orchids, phalaenopsis is one of the most popular indoor orchids and is native to southern China, Taiwan, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and Queensland. These elegant plants make a real impact on an office environment, and are fairly hard to kill – great for a busy office!

4.       Ficus Ginseng (bonsai)

Ginseng bonsai are also known as ficus retusa, Banyan fig or ficus ginseng. Bonsai art appeared over a millennium ago in the Chinese Empire and was then known as Penzai. It was later adapted by the Japanese and its popularity spread all across South-East Asia. These are probably the most famous and easily recognised bonsai trees and are easy to care for.

5.       Dracaena Lemon & Lime (branched)

Native throughout Africa and also known as ‘Dragon Tree Lemon and Lime’, their brightly coloured leaves are a sight for sore eyes in a dreary office on a Monday morning. These plants can get quite tall; we recommend placing one or two around the corners of your office so that they are visible without taking up too much room. 

Think of your interior designs as investments in your staff – you’ll start to see some returns when their productivity increases. Improving the atmosphere of your office has never been easier, there are so many varieties and styles of planting available.  So if you like the look of these ever popular favourites, you’re looking for something different, or you have haven’t a clue where to start, contact us to find out more about our office plants for hire and our selection of flowers for offices, we’ll help you pick out the perfect plants for you.