Plants are fast-becoming an important part of modern design. Look at any new development structure, from apartments to corporate headquarters, and you’ll find greenery sprouting from every available space. Particularly amongst younger generations — although this trend is by far from exclusive to millennials — plants are an irresistible design choice for everything from external community areas to private indoor spaces.
This desire to be around plantlife has not gone unnoticed. Only a few years ago, Amazon opened The Spheres, a series of greenhouse locations close to its headquarters in Seattle. Filled with over 40,000 plants, the concept was designed to give its employees a striking green and natural space to explore every day.
The Spheres cost Amazon $4 billion to develop, an obscene amount of money even for the retail and tech giant. But to the company, this wasn’t just a frivolous expense — it was an investment.
Green Space Makes Employees More Productive
Plants “inspire creativity and even improve brain function,” Amazon claims, citing improvements in staff cognition as one of the major factors in greenlighting their decision to construct The Spheres.
This statement doesn’t appear to go far enough in demonstrating the potential benefits of plants in raising business productivity. In a prestigious study devised by Harvard University in 2017, greenery was found to have a direct influence on the productivity and success of a business. Businesses that emphasized plants as part of design saw a 26% increase in output compared to those that didn’t.
There is a natural affiliation between productivity and profitability — hence Amazon’s eagerness to find new ways to improve the revenue of its already highly lucrative business. But productivity and creative output are not the only ways plants help your business make money.
They can also help cut down on costs.
Plants Reduce Stress
Greenery directly influences mood and reduces stress. While it’s hard to measure pressure, people in green spaces feel up to 60% less stressed than in areas without plant life. Just seeing plant life can have an immediate impact on behaviour and mental health. Studies have indicated that plants have a calming effect on people, and although there is no clear-cut reason as to why, theories suggest that they remind us of natural and open spaces, free from the confines of day-to-day stresses.
The cost of stress is nearly immeasurable. In the USA alone, projections put the cost of stress at $200 billion — and this is purely in terms of workdays lost to stress-related absence and turnover from resignations relating to stress. The figures do not even consider the cost implications of productivity-related stress — which is massive. Stress is regarded as one of the biggest barriers to good productivity.
By introducing plants and reducing stress, there are clear benefits to revenue. And this isn’t the end of it.
Workplaces with Plants Reduce Sick Days
Stress-related absence is costly, but so are absences relating to other illnesses. Every year, the UK economy is hit by £77 billion in lost revenue due to sickness. Anything your business can do to reduce that figure is going to go a long way to improve profitability.
As it turns out, plants can help.
Plants in the workplace have been shown to ward off sickness. How is this possible? It’s all down to air quality and purification of toxins. Better quality air reduces build ups of moisture and mildew, which in turn reduces the formation of bacteria-inducing mould that causes sickness. Better air quality also reduces irritants and dust spores that can aggravate airways and lead to coughing and sneezing. If an employee comes to work with an illness, better air quality can prevent infections. Then there is the simple matter of the air quality itself. Better quality air is richer in oxygen, an aid to better brain function and a preventer of symptoms that can lead to absences, such as fatigue, headaches, and muscle tension.
Greenery Makes Your Business More Attractive to Customers
Everything so far has focused essentially on improvements to employee lifestyle to increase revenue through better productivity practices. But what about bringing more cash into the business through increased sales — can plants help with that?
The simple answer is yes.
Plants make people happy. Happy people are prone to spend more money and make more impulsive choices. They’re easier to work with and more willing to accept new ideas. Whether you’re in retail or services, plants that increase positivity can make your life of snagging new sales opportunities easier. Then there is also the case for plants being a marketing tool. They’re attractive and striking, and people love to be around them. From restaurants to shops, including plants in your design can draw crowds.
Plants have become a core part of the modern lifestyle and for good reasons. They’re beneficial for our health and wellbeing — as mood enhancers and protectors from diseases. Plants are inexpensive additions to your business design. It’s easy for a company to buy wholesale planters and plants, enriching space — even if there is no available ground to support life. Plants can make a big difference in revenue and provide businesses with new opportunities to grow.
Diversify your design, introduce greenery, and you’ll plant the seeds of a more productive and profitable enterprise.