3 Green Tips to Bring Nature into Your Workspace
Offices can be soulless places. White walls as far as the eye can see, fluorescent lighting, and the hum of a chatter around the life source – the kettle. Very rarely do we think of offices as natural spaces. Even the contemporary and vibrant new wave of working spaces are manufactured and artificial. However, with many of us working remotely under the ‘new normal’, this gives us great scope to create a green home office.
Biophilia is a term coined by scientists to describe the natural human desire to be connected with nature. In fact, studies have found that introducing flora and fauna into your workspace can:
- Reduce stress
- Increase productivity
- Lessen illness and sick days
- Improve air quality
Below, we take a look at five ways you can bring the outside into your home office so that you can potentially reap the benefits above.
The best plants for improving home office air quality
Air pollution doesn’t just affect the air outside your home. Whether you live in the countryside or in a city, the air in your home will be affected by pollutants too. Indoor air pollution is comprised of dust, dirt, and gasses. These harmful contaminants cannot be seen by the human eye.
However, physical symptoms may alert you to poor air qualify in your home office. Whilst you may think you’re suffering with hay fever or a mild cold, it could be dust and other allergens affecting your health.
NASA conducted a Clean Air Study to research ways to clean the air in their space stations. We all know that during photosynthesis plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen – this process can also remove other organic pollutants from the air in your office.
A follow up study conducted in 2019 confirmed that house plants make a significant difference to the air quality in your home. Depending on the number of houseplants you had in your home office the air could be 93% cleaner than before.
To give your home a breath of fresh air why not select one of the NASA approved plants below:
- Baberton daisy
- English ivy
- Snake plant
- Spider Plant
- Aloe Vera
- Weeping fig
- Dragon tree
- Bamboo palm
If you feel like your home office needs an extra boost in air quality, you could invest in an air purifier. Leitz’s range of TruSens Air Purifiers come in three sizes to suit your home office.
Our TruSens Air Purifiers not only focus on dust, dirt, and gasses. You can utilise one of our filters (pet, odour, or allergy and flu) depending on your needs. Many TruSens customers are amazed at the difference a Leitz TruSens Air Purifier makes to their health and wellbeing.
Should you have an aquarium in your office?
Burnout symptoms increased for 24% of UK employees in 2020 and Google Trends depicts rises in terms such as ‘occupational burnout’ and ‘chronic stress’. Maintaining a work life balance when working from home can be difficult and reaching burnout means lack of productivity, fatigue, and illness.
Low morale can be hard to shake off, particularly when working remotely without your team physically present to offer support. A study focusing on the effects of nature contact at work on revealed that there is a direct link between nature and reducing employee stress levels and health problems. One of the remedies citied in the study was to keep an aquarium in your office.
A report by the World Health Design highlighted that a fish tank produced elevated positive mood and increased productivity in an office environment. This report was later backed up by a 2015 study by Plymouth University who found that a visible fish tank decreased people’s heart rates by 7% and blood pressure by 4%.
If you think a fish tank would be a healthy addition to your home office, some of the easiest fish for beginners include:
- Kuhli Loaches
The benefits of using natural materials in your home office
Using natural materials in your home office may seem like an aesthetic choice but you’ll soon discover that the benefits go far beyond eye pleasing. Stone, wood, and natural fibres not only create a rich and textured look but it effortlessly beings the beauty of the outdoors into your office.
Natural materials are typically more robust than their man-made counterparts. Meaning they last longer and are a sustainable solution for your eco friendly office. Furthermore, natural materials do not give off the same toxic chemical compounds as artificial materials such as plastic or laminate. Unbeknownst to many, countless pieces of furniture and products in our home offices are treated with chemicals and toxic compounds during manufacture. These are then brought into our homes and emit these pollutants. Buying furniture and furnishings made of natural materials means a healthier environment for you to work in.
Beyond physical health, a report by Timber and Design online showed that utilising natural wood in your home office can have a stress-reducing effect.
Other natural materials you could incorporate into your home office include:
Ways to go green at work
Bringing nature into your workspace doesn’t have to stop with your home office. If you return to your regular place of work adopting some of the ideas above can not only have a positive impact on your wellbeing, but your colleagues too.
You could also discuss new company initiatives with senior staff, such as new environmental policies, an office gardening club, or asking for bike storage to encourage people to cycle to work. The options are endless on how you can improve your productivity and health by embracing the great outdoors.