Designing a workspace with indoor plants bring deeper benefits than just aesthetics


Sharolyn Croton from Tropical Treasures Taranaki
Photo credit: Dom Prestidge

More than ever before, modern companies are now prioritising indoor plants, vertical gardens and green courtyards. Research shows that if designed correctly, a workspace can increase employee productivity, improve wellbeing, and bring high awareness of accountability. We sat down with Sharolyn Croton from Tropical Treasures Taranaki, a Johnson Corner Design Partner, to get a deeper understanding of the benefits of indoor plants in the workplace. 

What are the benefits of plants in the workplace?

Greenery significantly increases workplace satisfaction for employees, it heightens concentration levels and improves perceived air quality. Think of plants as a pathway to a more enjoyable and comfortable form of office-based working. I might also add that plants have a positive effect on both physical and mental health, which leads to healthy staff and a mentally safe environment for employees to thrive. 

Do plants really increase happiness and productivity in the workplace? 

When we have plants indoors, they create a mini microclimate which helps improve the air quality, this can have huge benefits to our health due to the improved air quality, not to mention the atmosphere as it creates a place of calm which in turn has been proven to increase productivity in the workplace. There are three key indoor plant enablers that we can consider in our design. 

Indoor plants relieve stress. Biophilic design holds that natural environments evoke in humans a different response than urban environments. They give us a sense of being away; feeling relaxed, tranquil, and simply existing. 

Greenery helps improve our attention and focus. Filled with intriguing stimuli that modestly grabs attention, indoor plants improve our capacity for attention and focus. When we enter a room with plants it improves our mood, uplifts our spirits and we all function better when we aren’t stressed.

Personal desk plants help make better decisions. Nurturing a plant has a very positive effect on us and is proven to help with mental health just by having something to care for and look after. This influences a sense of personal accountability. Studies have shown an increase in health with gardeners and people who have a lot of plants indoors. 

Do indoor plants purify the air? 

They do! Plants create a microclimate which improves the humidity and air quality in a space. Plants are indispensable to human life through photosynthesis. They also convert the carbon dioxide we exhale, into fresh oxygen and help remove toxins from the air we breathe. 

If anyone is designing their new office space, can you share some ideas that create the right results?

Choosing the right plants for the correct light positions is the key.

I think a few statement plants and a few Potted Plants on Desks is a good starting point, I find customers start with a few and add more plants as their confidence grows. Other ideas that work well are green walls, succulents on window sills and potted plants.  

Its been fun learning about plants and their connection with humans. Where can people learn more from you? 

Thank you! I share regular tips on Facebook and Instagram. Tips for caring for plants, problem-solving. People also engage with us by asking questions. I’m also involved with New Zealand Houseplant Club which is a group page designed for discussions with knowledgeable people who are available to help.

“Nurturing a plant has a very positive effect on us and is proven to help with mental health just by having something to care for and look after. This influences a sense of personal accountability “

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Inspired to re-think your workspace?! 

Our team of experts and partners will work with you to design your workspace to improve employee experience,  build a feeling of community amongst teams, and drive long-term growth by increasing the sense of accountability. 

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