How to optimise open plan offices with plants

During the tech boom of the 1990s and 2000s, the open plan office was partly embraced to utilise the office space efficiently. Of course, the aesthetic value became so popular that 80% of the U.S offices use the open plan office concept today.

Today, people spend at least 90% of their time indoors, driving designers to incorporate nature in their interior design. Indoor plants have played an essential role in making the open-plan office concept agreeable to many business owners. Studies show that these plants help improve the productivity of workers, remove toxins from the air, and even reduce noise levels.

From big corporations like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, to small private offices, the open-plan office concept has been widely adopted. At Facebook, for example, a massive 10-acre greenery campus is used by 2,800 employees. Wanting to interact with nature is in our genes, and this is why the biophilic design has been in every designer’s mind for the past few decades. Biophilic design seeks to create an ideal habitat for people residing in modern concrete structures, communities, and landscapes. With every biophilic design, the evolution of human tendencies over evolutionary time and how this positively affects our health and well being takes centre stage.

Why use office plants?

Because of the ability of indoor plants to revamp work stations, many office designers recommend using them. The use of these plants in offices helps at tweaking the office aesthetically, but more importantly, helps workers connect with nature. This concept further affords the employees increased lighting and larger work spaces. Several studies show that the productivity of employees working among natural elements increases by 6% and their creative ability shoots up by 15%. The well being of such employees increases by an average of 15%. This means fewer sick days and absenteeism for employees.

The innate human desire to be closer to nature means that we can try and counter the disadvantages that open plan design comes with. In a 2010 study conducted by the University of technology, Sydney, it was found that indoor plants help reduce tension and anxiety among employees by up to 37%. The study also found that greenery helps to reduce fatigue in employees by around 38%. Plants take in carbon dioxide while giving out oxygen, which humans need. In some NASA studies, it was discovered that having plants in offices can help capture harmful elements like benzene and formaldehyde. The biophilic design of an office can also influence job applicants because an increasing number of workers today argue that they would want to work in a greener environment.

Moss wall on reception

9 Ways to Incorporate Plants in your Open-plan Office

A lot of research has been put toward establishing whether greenery is good for human beings. According to Dr. Craig Knight of the University of Exeter,  when people put plants or some other form of natural enrichment in their workplaces, they not only felt better, but they also performed better.

Chandelier plants give an imposing impression

Often, open-plan offices take up an expansive area. As such, meticulous designing is necessary to avoid not only wastage of space but also utilise dead corners. Some of the best indoor plants to help you achieve this are plants that can be placed in chandeliers. These “chandelier plants” can be placed at a central point or be scattered around the office depending on the space available. Some of the plants to go for include moss, Amaranthus and rose flower plant. This idea seems to work best if you have a huge vertical space. To make the chandelier plants even more authentic, pick nature rhyming pots.

Using nature-motivated coloured pots

To maximise the use of greenery in an open-plan office, you can choose pots that not only complement your plant and the wall colours, but also the overall interior design. Coloured plant pots alone can be used to put a twist to the dull and dead corners. The pots can imitate dried logs, seashells, or animal carvings.  

Meeting Area with Trees by Planters

Have larger plants around meeting areas

Open-plan offices can also benefit from a large tree. You can choose to make it the focal point of your design or even along the walls. Adding this within your office will easily help you achieve your biophilic goal. A single large tree or plant will help the employees feel more in tune with nature, hence,  making them feel more relaxed.

Have plants and flowers in dead corners

Office plants are very effective when you want to reduce noise pollution in your office. In those tight corners of the office where workers are rarely frequent, placing a plant can help to add to the aesthetics of the office or room. In a CoreNet Global study done in 2013, an employee in an open-plan office takes up just 173 square feet while one in a traditional office takes 225 square feet. The utilisation of lesser office space nowadays allows for the turning of an office into a greener place to work at. The extra space means that walls and dead corners can be better used with plants and flowers.

Create green walls inside the office

Invest in a rack-like frame where you can vertically place potted plants to create a vertical wall within the office. Pick plants with thick leaves such as Philodendron or Peace Lily and rack them on a wooden or metal frame to create an illusion of a vertical wall. You may also want to consider placing short potted trees to create a hedge inside the office. Below the stems, you can put short and flowering plants to create a completely natural life fence. Alternatively, you may opt to have a landscape company install a living green wall and do the tedious work for you.

Using desk plants

When it comes to accentuating your open-plan office with greenery, you should never forget about your office desk. As landscape design experts in Dubai, Planters can choose the best type and size of plant, compatible with your desk and your office layout. These desk plants offer you tranquility and can clean air impurities. Among the office plants to consider are the Devil's Ivy, Zamiocalcus Zamiifolia, Bromeliads, and the 'mother-in-law's tongue.'

Use different types of plants to create themes

Rather than having desks and chairs scattered in the office, you can use office plants to create sections. You can use small trees for a particular section and moss or a vertical garden in a different area. Different parts of the office with different plants offer workers unique experiences with nature. To make the greenery as the focal point of your open-plan office, different types of plants can be used to create a park theme. Plush plants on Artificial Treewalls, flowering plants on the tables, and tall plants for a hedge will help you achieve it.

Capitalise on the reception and waiting area

Green Wall Reception Area by Planters

It might seem obvious, but as the saying goes, 'first impressions last.' By investing in your reception area, you are sure to captivate or at least impress your visitors or clients. A great way to get through to your employees, business partners, and customers is to invest in a quality vertical wall at the reception area. For an open plan office that has a foyer or a stairway, a large imposing tree can be used. A plant wire is also something to think about since it enthralls anyone who steps through the door.

Utilise the window sills

The open-plan office designers emphasise on using the biophilic concept where large windows that allow plenty of light are built. In almost all instances, these windows feature wide window sills that come in handy when you want greenery. On the ledges, you can place potted plants that cling on to the wall or just pick cacti-like plants. Because there’s plenty of light coming from the windows, the plants can grow vibrantly.

Transform your Open-Plan Office

There is no limit as to what you can do with the office space you have. Whether it is 500 or 5,000 square feet office space, it is quite simple to add aesthetics that are also functional. You can transform it into a lush green haven where workers not only come to work but also unwind.

To get the best out of your open-plan office, you should consult professional office plants supplier or landscaping contractor in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. With ample experience and expertise with the indoor plants, they can help you put life into your office by choosing the best type to invest in. And if you want Planters to be your partner, contact us today to speak to one of our experts.

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