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Plants in the office: The world of work is becoming greener

JOOLZ Office in Amsterdam (Architecture: Space Encounters) © Space Encounters

There has long since been the cognition that plants at the office promote health. New office concepts do however go far beyond placing yucca palms on the desk. With extensive greenery planted green oases are created for everyday working life.

Green plants at the office not only have aesthetic advantages. They also make the employees feel better and ensure they are less often ill. Numerous surveys show that plants reduce the carbon dioxide content in the air, break down harmful substances and provide a sufficient humidity level. Also, more recent research corroborates that people in “green” offices are happier and more productive. It is thus advisable in the course of today’s New Work concepts to further increase the focus on plants again.

Architects and interior designers are coming up with plenty of ideas here in order to equip modern offices with botanic diversity. To combat poor and dry air, greenery the size of whole greenhouses is planted in the world of work. The headquarters of the online dealer Amazon that were recently opened in Seattle is a particularly spectacular example of this. The office complex in the centre of the American metropolis almost reminds one of a rain forest with palm trees, scented flowers and waterfalls.

Second Home Lisbon (Architecture: SelgasCano) © Iwan Baan

Many other new offices are being revitalised with extensive plants. In the subsidiary of the employment company, Second Home, in Lisbon, around 1,000 potted plants beautify the desk work. A tourist company in Vietnam offers its employees green relaxing areas that are inspired by parks. Even whole trees grow out of the floor or desks in order to create a special ambiance.

Current projects even go a step further and integrate the greenery directly into the architecture of the office. On constructing the city administration office in Venlo, the Netherlands, for example ecological aspects were taken into consideration from the very start. “Green walls” where the large-surface plants across the facade are continued inside the building prove to be eye-catchers in open office landscapes. In addition to their decorative function, they significantly contribute towards a healthy indoor climate in the administration building.

In this way, green offices not only make working healthier, but also demonstrate a special appreciation for the employees. Particularly in the so-called war for talents, a pleasant work environment is gaining in significance. The in two senses good climate in green office oases can only be an advantage here.

Sony Music Office in Amsterdam (Architecture: Space Encounters) © Peter Tijhuis


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