Why plants should be at the top of our desires as we come out of lockdown

on Tuesday, 02 June 2020. Posted in News

As we slowly emerge from lockdown, we are unsure how lives will playout. A new normal is necessary. But this needn’t be bad news.

Home office court Anthurium info

Courtesy of Anthurium.info

With a lack of contact with friends and family, more time on our hands during lockdown and the great weather, many people have found plenty of time for gardening. Both enjoying being outdoors and growing vegetables and flowers in their gardens has really helped many of us during this stressful period. Not surprising when a five year study found that those engaging with nature every day for a period of thirty days were still feeling positive affects two months later.

We also maintain as other research has shown, having plants around you while you work is not only good for productivity but great to keep stress and anxiety levels low.
So wherever you have been or will be working, plants should be an essential need.

A recent research study found that having a plant on your desk and caring for it brought amazing calm and benefits to the owner. Over the years, other research has shown that being able to see plants from your desk is enough to reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Your home office deserves plants just as much as your workplace. In fact whatever your work is, having plants around can really make a difference to your health and wellbeing.

Home office 1

Courtesy of The Joy of Plants

In the workplace
For those opening up offices again working out social distancing possibly with one-way routes around previously unmonitored walkways could be difficult. But plants can help. Use them barriers of plants to separate desks or desks and seating areas; use ‘hedges of plants’ for social distancing queuing or mark the two metres rule.

Social Distancing info

Partitioning desks to enforce social distancing and keep all users safe can be done with green screens which many of the plants@work members are offering. The use of plants for sign-posting or to cordon off break-out areas is another way that we can surround ourselves with plants but usefully adhere to social distancing rules at the same time. However we use them, plants should become an essential must have for any business.

Green office

Barriers of plants to use with social distancing (image taken before lockdown)

The pros and cons of working from home

With working from home changing work patterns for many over the last couple of months, it’s not surprising to see surveys appear. Two that we found agreed that saving time and money on commuting and having a more flexible schedule were positive results of working from home. But social isolation and wellbeing were some of the negatives.

Some large corporations are encouraging their staff to continue to work from home indefinitely or at least as a choice for employees. The companies realise what they can save in overheads! This could be very important at least at the beginning to get companies up and running again.

Home office 3a

Courtesy of The Joy of Plants

In the long term this cannot work for recruitment and those at the beginning of their careers who need social interaction as companies do to develop their teams.

4.Deloitte. GREEN SCREENSlive dividers1 Copy

Dividing screens in the workplace (Deloitte Award Winning project by Mitie Landscapes Ltd)

Plants are good for you wherever you work

These thoughts from Alexander Bond, courtesy of the Joy of Plants, are a great place to start when considering plants in your workspace. His focus is on your home workspace, but we think it should feature in all workspaces wherever possible.

  1. Think of your plants as the most important feature in the space. We're so used to thinking of them as a side issue, but if you focus your home office around your plants, the whole area will immediately feel a lot more natural and free.
  2. Choose the right plant. Alexander agrees that different plants provoke different emotions, and it's a good idea to decide which you want to introduce into your work environment. One way to find out is to visualise in a moment of stillness the atmosphere that you wish to work in, then make a conscious choice to bring the associated plant to the space.
  3. Be tactile with your plant. A plant with soft leaves by your desk is a good idea as touching it will reconnect you with nature.

For more reasons to include plants in your workspace join us for National Plants at Work Week taking place virtually this year between 13 and 17 July, sponsored by Koberg bv.

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