Add Windows and Live Plants for a Cleaner, Brighter Workplace

Written by KC Glass on . Posted in Blog

Employers on the cutting edge of creating successful workplace environments are experimenting with the positive benefits of nature. By bringing outdoor plants indoors, bosses hope to benefit their employees’ health and productivity. If your company headquarters is a morale-busting stack of cubicles, adding more glass and plant life is the secret to turn your workers into engaged and happy team members.

Amazon is one of the bigger businesses currently investing heavily in the workplace-plant trend. Employees in the company’s Seattle area will soon be able to experience the Spheres, which are a special set of geodesic greenhouses full of exotic plants collected from around the world.

There are a number of compelling reasons for companies to consider adding greenhouses, sun rooms, and walls of windows to their workplaces. There are also a few tips to remember when you plan your own indoor growing zones.

Know That Indoor Plants Cleanse the Air and Spirit

Through the process of photosynthesis, herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees clear the outside air of impurities and toxins. When plants are brought indoors, they play the same roles as air cleaners and filters.

Plants can even filter out volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are found in buildings. VOCs are released by furnishings including wall paint, construction glues, plastics, and carpets. Since common house plants filter VOCs, it makes sense to view greenery as a key to creating cleaner workplace air quality.

Green and colorful plants also give the senses a boost. The colors and shapes of plants soften the workplace. Staff feel more relaxed when they’re less surrounded by artifice. Bright flowers and foliage lift the spirits and energize workers toiling away at their desks and work areas.

Create a Plant Program to Succeed

Create your own business “greenhouse” effect by placing plants around the office where there is already a good bit of natural light. Plants do fine even when you have high-efficiency windows, although some may grow slower with glazed or tinted windows. Replace old or too-small windows in rooms where you want to put your plants. You’ll get better performance from your indoor greenery.

Appoint a staff member to oversee the plant project in your business. They should oversee the care of plants so that your green investment thrives. If you have any plant lovers or gardeners in the office or workplace, they will take the job seriously and have the skills to handle the challenge.

If you have no green thumbs in your work force, hire an indoor landscaping firm to design your indoor plant system. The plant service will come in once or twice a week to care for your foliage and flowers, so you and your employees can enjoy the plants without having to fuss over them.

Choose Plants With Proven Abilities

When NASA studied the ability of houseplants to remove chemicals from the air, they focused their attention on three specific chemicals commonly found indoors. These chemicals studied were:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene
  • Trichloroethylene

The plants and chemicals were sealed together in a chamber for 24 hours. Then the air was tested to determine the percentage of chemicals filtered out of the air by the plants. The five most cleansing plants studied filtered between 10 and 70 percent of the chemicals from the air.

There were over a dozen plants chosen for the study. The five which performed the best were:

  • Mass Cane (Dracaena massangeana)
  • Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
  • Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
  • Warneckii (Dracaena deremensis “Warneckei”)
  • Ficus (Ficus benjamina)

Other plants that are good for the air inside your workplace include Boston fern, Peace lily, bamboo palm, spider plant, golden pothos, and English Ivy. Chinese evergreen and rubber plants are also good air purifiers, and many have extra coloration or variegation to make interesting potted displays.

Add a Wall of Windows Anywhere

Indoor plants and people perform okay under fluorescent lights. But plants and your workers will grow and produce more for you if you open up their spaces to natural light. If you don’t want to knock out any walls in your existing structure, add a new front facade made of glass. Some businesses are using their glass-fronted entryways to create entire walls of plants for a stunning look.

If you plan for a large enough front space, the entryway becomes a great area to place plants for a combination greeting space for visitors and break area for staff. Have tables and chairs or benches set up in between potted trees and flowering plants, and your guests and workers will look forward to entering your building.

Add on to the back of your building and create a new lounge, conference room, or office space that’s surrounded by walls of windows and full of foliage. You can add a wall of windows anywhere, whether you create an addition to your building or design a brand new storefront.

Contact Ken Caryl Glass, Inc. today to discuss the many ways you can transform your business environment with the natural light only real glass can bring to your indoor spaces.

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