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A green-fingered approach to office design

26 June 2013


There has been a lot of debate recently about the value of interior landscaping.


It is true that that the headline costs of purchasing and maintaining interior plants can seem high for what people perceive as decoration. However, is it just decoration?

Research has shown that enrichment of spaces with items such as plants and art enable people to realise a sense of their own identity, and subsequently feel a lot more engaged in the office.

However not all businesses agree. In recent news, we have learnt that the BBC is encouraging its staff at the London HQ to not bring in pot plants, amongst other items. According to the BBC, this foliage can be used as a form of ‘desk grab’ to mark territory and can create a sense of ownership of a particular area, which the BBC want to avoid.

Evidence suggests that businesses can improve the well-being of their staff and create measurably better workplaces that are engaging and sustainable through the principles of biophilic interior design, space management and colleague engagement.

It gives employees a sense of empowerment, by allowing them to design their own workspace, which will inevitably improve productivity. Simple pleasures such as a walk in the garden have been shown to reduce stress and feelings of anxiety, so why can’t this be translated in the office.

Creating a healthy and nature-connected working environment can pay huge dividends in terms of well-being, productivity and business effectiveness – a real return on a relatively small investment in interior design.

Kenneth Freeman, technical director, Ambius