If you’re like me, you’re a devotee of that most beloved internet time-suck, Apartment Therapy. Started in 2014 as a weekly home design newsletter, the platform expanded to be a leading source of design inspiration, with shopping guides, expert advice and DIY how-to videos. With stories about thrifted finds, repurposed rooms and bottom-line really good design, it’s now many people’s go-to home and decor site, to ‘inspire anyone to live a more beautiful and happy life at home.’
Well, we’ve been living (and working) at home for a while now, and it hasn’t always been happy. Certainly not every moment has been beautiful. However, scrolling Instagram for work-from-home inspo certainly helped. And the plants… oh, the PLANTS.
As an early adopter of the magic of biophilia (read: plants) in the homespace, Apartment Therapy LOVES a houseplant. Can’t get enough of them. It gets a little nuts sometimes (I’m remembering one Brooklyn studio that looked like the set of Jumanji). However, there’s a real life tie between good living and live foliage.
Office buildings have traditionally invested big in biophilia (think lobbies and common spaces), and presenting impressive large-scale planting installations is going stronger than ever. In offices, plants are also making their way onto walls, desks, even the ceiling. Aside from the interest and beauty, there’s real science behind the trend.
According to an article in Fast Company, “The biophilic design craze has been fueled by a host of scientific studies that find being closer to nature, whether that’s in the form of houseplants or natural light, is beneficial for your health. A landmark 2019 study found that children in Denmark who had been exposed to more greenery had 55% fewer mental health problems later in life compared to those who weren’t exposed to nature.” (From Haworth Spark)
Environmental psychologist Sally Augustin, PhD, puts it this way: “Plants put people in a better mood and improve confidence and openness of the mind to the surrounding world.” She continues, “Being in a good mood, for example, makes it more likely that our brains will do a better job problem solving or thinking creatively, and that we’ll get along better with others.”
Which got us thinking about inspiring employees in their return to the office.
Buy ’em a plant. Individual, small plants, just for their desks. Invite them to bring in a plant. Host a plant beauty contest, or create an office biophilia selection committee (we suggest the name “PLANTS AND PANTS: Two Things You’ll Need To Return To The Office).” Explain your commitment to office well-being, and how plants can support it. You can even name-drop Frank Lloyd Wright and Antoni Gaudi, two leaders in biometric architecture. Those guys loved plants, too.
Be they giant monstera or modest aloe, plants in the office can only do good, and it’s a relatively low-cost, high-impact investment in employee happiness. Need some ideas of how, what type and where to place plants in the workspace? It’s easy with burkeMICHAEL+ experts. Give us a buzz, and let’s get going with the greenery.
Mary Frances Hogan President + Ringmaster burkeMICHAEL+