The green office is not just a slogan based on the trend of being fashionable and eco-friendly. This is today a sign of a modern approach to business. Bringing nature into the workplace does not only make it more pleasant. This is a real – several percent or even higher – increase in employee efficiency, resulting from their better well-being in the office. How does it work and how can it be achieved?

It turns out that you don’t even need a huge investment here. Although the idea of biophilic design, which includes the green office, shows how much can be done in this area – not only in the office itself, but also in the proper design and management of the entire building and the arrangement of its surroundings, most often we have only rented office space at our disposal, and it is on this that we should focus. The idea is inexpensive and easy to implement. Bringing greenery into the office…

Plants purify the atmosphere at work – in every sense

That is why it is an office must have. They influence the mental and physical well-being of office users, which in turn translates into their effectiveness at work. It is also better the better the relations between workers, and plants also have some influence on this. One might even risk the thesis that today it is plants that tame the beast within.

A green office means cleaner air with optimum humidity, more favourable acoustics for work, rest for the eyes and solace for the nerves. This is due, on the one hand, to the properties of plants placed in office spaces, and on the other, to the positive influence of the colour green on people which helps in effective relaxation, which, as we know, is indispensable at work. 

All this, i.e. good air quality, an appropriately quiet environment, a calm atmosphere conducive to concentration and cooperation, and better psychophysical wellbeing of employees, translates into tangible profits for the company: people are more willing to come to work because they feel good at work, they are less likely to fall ill, so they take less sick leave. It’s easy to focus in the office, so productivity is at a good level. There is also no shortage of motivation to work, as the team members feel comfortable in one another’s company. All the benefits, and the expense in this context symbolic. So where do we start?

Bring in the plants recommended by none other than NASA specialists

Among the many studies performed or commissioned by the US space agency were some that focused on plants and their impact on the atmosphere and humans. It turns out that it was once even calculated that the optimum amount of greenery per person is 15 square metres of green leaves of those plants which are most effective in purifying the air and producing oxygen. It is no coincidence that ferns, peace lilies, fig trees and spider plants, which are the best at their job, are usually placed in offices. 

How best to “plant out” plants in office spaces

Plants in the office should be found both in the amenity areas, especially in the relaxation areas, and in the space where you work. They certainly won’t get in the way anywhere, they can only help, and on top of that, the typical office flowers mentioned above will cope even in the most difficult conditions – when there is little light and you forget to water them.

A chill-out room full of greenery allows you to regenerate efficiently and effectively and quickly return to interrupted tasks. The presence of plants is effective in relaxing the body and mind. When taking a break from work, in a well arranged chill-out room you can almost feel like you are in nature – pleasant and safe. Plants work on almost all the senses it’s worth taking advantage of this. If the clean atmosphere and soothing greenery are combined with, for example, energetic light, relaxing sound and fragrance – instant relaxation at work is guaranteed!

It’s also good to place pots of green plants on each desk. It’s the perfect “companion” element at work. If your eyes are tired from the computer screen, you can hang on to such a plant at any time and feel relieved – because the green colour has a soothing effect on the eyes. You can also focus your eyes on the plant while thinking about something because it is definitely easier to focus then. 

Plants in the open space have many more functions to perform. This is where so-called green walls are usually created which, in addition to all the benefits already discussed, bring several other practical benefits. A green wall made of living plants absorbs sound, eliminating the unbearable reverberation in the office. It can physically separate two different zones of an office space, thus making it cosier and more comfortable. This is a significant improvement in working conditions. Plants can appear in such an arrangement as living wall panels or as office partitions. They can also be an integral part of the equipment, as in the case of the GreenWalls that accompany the acoustic booths of the HUSH family.

Photo Green Walls for HUSH – pots with integrated electronic irrigation system for the outer walls of acoustic booths.


What does such a green office offer?

It turns out that an office rich in plants is perceived by employees as extremely friendly and chosen more readily than “sterile” office spaces. People feel more natural in such an environment. A green office is also good PR for a company, as it demonstrates a modern, ecological and simply human approach to business and the workplace. Plants relieve stress, dampen noise and improve air quality by maintaining proper humidity and absorbing harmful volatile substances, which in turn reduces the risk of headaches or eye irritation, as well as fits of drowsiness. They help you to focus on your work but also to relax. It affects us the way nature does – it stimulates the senses, inspires, encourages action or – depending on the need – calms and soothes. 

According to a report by the Harvard School of Public Health, green offices (thanks to the impact of plants on air quality) double our cognitive capacity. There are other studies whose results quite clearly suggest that more plants in the workplace is most desirable, as it increases engagement and productivity and improves the atmosphere at work, which has a real and measurable impact on the company’s performance.