Benefits of Plants

A number of university studies have proved that plants in the work environment can help to keep staff healthy. Many common ailments such as coughs, colds, allergies and stress can cause workers to call in sick. Plants increase humidity and capture airborne dust, chemicals and pathogens which in turn reduces the frequency and severity of common illnesses in the workplace. As a result, businesses see improved productivity and reduced costs throughout the year.

Yes! Scientific studies show that just looking at plants provokes a reaction in the human brain, making us feel calmer and happier. Stress is one of the biggest obstacles to business success because it affects everything from productivity and absenteeism to relationships and team morale. Planting can help to positively reduce stress levels by creating an uplifting environment that boosts mood and reduces absence due to sickness, which in turn aids motivation by helping teams to achieve their targets more easily.

Yes. Sick Building Syndrome refers to a set of symptoms caused by toxins, dust and other compounds commonly found in the air in office blocks and other commercial buildings. Plants act like filters for this contaminated air as well as raising humidity by releasing moisture through their leaves. Breathing clean, moist air is shown to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of SBS which can include throat irritation, breathing difficulties, dry and itchy skin, headaches, sneezing, difficulty in concentrating, fatigue, aches and nausea.

What is Biophilia?

The word ‘biophilia’ is derived from the Latin and literally means ‘love of life’. The ‘Biophilia Hypothesis’ was first written about by American scientist E. O. Wilson who put forward the theory that humans have a desire to make connections with other living things. He believed that this desire was hard wired into the human brain, a biological need designed to help our species survive.

From a workspace perspective, biophilia is a word used to describe natural elements that are integrated into the work environment. This might include the use of timber, stone, natural light, water features, and plants to provide greenery.

Sort of!  Biophilia is the word coined by E. O Wilson to describe the “innate connection” that humans have with the natural environment.  Biophilic Design is the use of natural materials and references within a design scheme to harness this connection and generate the positive emotions linked to it.

Plants themselves are not ‘biophilia’.  Biophilia is the worded used to describe our connection as humans with nature.  However, plants are a key part of biophilic design as they’re very much a natural, organic form that will help create a space that supports our connection with nature.

Absolutely!  Biophilia is closely connected to good mental and physical wellbeing, and there are numerous studies and testimonials demonstrating how biophilic design can help boost teams’ wellness and health.

What plants are best for offices?

Plants are like humans, and all have their own set of requirements, likes, and dislikes.  So the best plant for your office depends very much on the type of space you have.  However, here is a list of our Top 10 at the moment!

  • Ficus Lyrata / Fiddle Leaf Fig – Big, bold leaves and easy to look after too.
  • Howea Forsteriana / Kentia Palm – A graceful palm that can cope with varying conditions.
  • Sansevieria Zeylanica / Mother in Laws Tongue – Tough as old boots and a great structural form.
  • Dracaena Warneckii / Dragon Tree – Available in lots of shapes and sizes and easy to care for.
  • Aglaonema Maria / Chinese Evergreen – Highlighted by NASA as being good for removing toxins.
  • Monstera Deliciosa / Cheese Plant – An old favourite making a come-back!
  • Epipremnum Pothos / Devils Ivy – Famous for its air cleaning powers, and great for high level trailing planting.
  • Aspidistra / Cast Iron Plant – Pretty much impossible to kill, an old favourite of the Victorians that’s still going strong.
  • Musa Cavendish / Banana Plant – Huge leaves that look amazing, right on trend at the moment.
  • Crassula Ovata / Jade Plant – Succulents are hugely popular, and super easy to look after.

Plants die for many reasons!  However, one of the main killers is not a lack of water, but too much!  Other plant killers can include:

  • Not enough water.
  • Not enough light.
  • Pest problems.
  • They get too cold – beneath 15℃ is chilly for tropical plants.
  • They get too hot!
  • They get too big for their pot.
  • Damage caused by carelessness.

So many things can go wrong!  However, our maintenance technicians are highly trained at spotting any problems early, and nipping them in the bud.