Nowadays, more and more often we talk about plants and its importance in our lives, not only in the decorative aspects. Greenery in the public space also becomes the subject of serious debate. People who are closed to ecology believe that we feel better, work efficiently and we have a greater sense of safety when our space is closer to original nature. However, the challenge is to accurately estimate the impact of plants on human work, so that you can determine the patterns by which we could design the office in terms of greening.
The World Health Organization estimates that 30% of modern office spaces have sick building syndrome. The atmosphere is spoiled by air conditioning, heating, poor ventilation. More and more people have mainly office work ad they spend the whole day in front of computer monitors between printers, fax machines, telephones, air conditioning, etc. More attention is given to the harmful effects of these devices on the health and productivity of employees. The result of this consideration are research and conferences, which are trying to answer the question: How we can mitigate the negative impact of office work?
During the TED conference, the results of an experiment conducted in New Delhi was presented. 1200 plants were placed in an office building with an area of 4600 square meters, they had to oxygenate organisms of 300 people working there. The results were more exited than the organizers had expected. The study showed that the office has become the healthiest building in New Delhi thanks to experiment. It was concluded that the presence of plants has a positive impact on:
Well-being. Plant environment has a positive impact on our well-being and increases efficiency of our work. Plants also increase creativity of employees, which is associated with increasing the capacity of the brain to recall more information. In the presence of plants productivity growth by 10% to 15%, and decrease the number of errors by 12%. It was also observed a faster improvement of the patients’ health surrounded by greenery. In the presence of plants, they had better test results, shortened recovery period and received lower doses of medication.
Foliage plants absorb dust. There are various dusts in the office space. Dust is emitted by office equipment, such as printers and computers. Contaminants also enter from the outside, such as dust from the street or from the cars. This results in headaches, fatigue, watery eyes, repeated infections, allergies and even asthma. The exact number indicating the improvement of health in office space with plants are impressive. The occurrence of eye irritation was reduced by 52%, respiratory about 34%, headache about 24%, breathing problems by 12%, and asthma by 9%.
Plants regulate the level of moisture in the room. Water which evaporates from plants hydrates room – the more dry air, the longer process of moisture regulation, until the optimum level. The soothing effect of the plant also has a positive impact on the comfort of seeing and moisturizing eye – the presence of plants decreases eye fatigue associated with working with monitors. Therefore, it is recommended to place a potted plant on your desk. In addition, plants fight bacteria, viruses and fungal spores, ensuring in this way not only the eyes but also our lungs, skin, and even the level of oxygenation of tissues. Plants in the workplace are often part of marketing, because, among other advantages, they increase customer trust and cause desire to stay for longer, thereby increasing the likelihood of sales. The plants, especially the lush, also impact on the image of the company, creating a friendly environment and distinguishing it from the competition.
The results of the experiment conducted in Delhi, showed that the greatest positive impact have three specific varieties of plants: Dypsis lutescens, Sansevieria trifasciata, Rhaphidophora aurea. During TED was also found that the use of these three products can reduce the energy needed in the building by 15% – there is no necessity of supplying fresh air from the outside.