The average American now spends 90 percent of their time in indoor environments and a generous portion of that time is spent in their office building or workplace. This staggering figure suggests that it’s more important than ever for employees to have access to plants and biophilic design in their everyday lives.
It’s for this very reason that events such as National Plants at Work Week, which will occur from July 11-15, are so important in our modern industrial society. The annual event raises awareness about the effects of plants and biophilic design in the workplace while emphasizing their benefits such as reduced stress, increased productivity, enhanced creativity, and improved employee well-being.
National Plants at Work Week is an initiative established by EFIG, or the European Federation of Interior Landscaping Groups, and seeks to “promote plants in the workplace with events, guerilla actions, promotions all to raise awareness of the positive benefits of having plants in the workspace.”
The ultimate goal of the National Plants at Work Week initiative is to get as many plants into working environments as possible and to demonstrate the benefits of biophilic design. Research on the topic of biophilia is growing rapidly it’s now well documented in the scientific community that there is general agreement amongst scientists that plants not only improve the indoor environment, but can help clean the air, control temperature, and create natural barriers to harmful airborne microbes.
When comparing biophilic environments against Lean environments which are often associated with poor air quality, inadequate or unnatural lighting, and spaces without access to nature, the results are dramatic.
Results from studies done by the Environmental Protection Agency discovered that employees subjected to Lean environments tended to suffer from variety of adverse physical and psychological symptoms that are commonly associated with Sick Building Syndrome. Symptoms typically include everything from irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat to headaches and respiratory illnesses.
Biophilia and access to plants and natural elements are useful in fighting the modern phenomenon of Sick Building Syndrome. They play an important role in human performance and our overall well-being, and are trending towards playing an even more crucial role in the design and architecture of the future. Before long, everything from housing and apartment complexes to office buildings and retail stores will be developed with biophilia and the natural world in mind.
“The future will belong to the nature-smart — those individuals, families, businesses and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real,” said Kenneth Freeman, International Technical Director for Ambius. “The more high-tech we become, the more nature we will need.”
This is what the National Plants at Work Week initiative is trying to bring to the forefront with their event and promotions. Because as the world becomes more urbanized, and as we continue to spend more time inside than ever before, the more important it is to have plants and biophilia around the office and in our everyday living environments.
Get Involved with Plants at Work Week by:
- Share a photo of your favorite office plant with Ambius on Facebook
- Join the Twitterthon every day during the week week at 11.00a.m. using the hashtag #plantsatworkweek
- Take the Biophilia Quiz to see how connected with nature you are at work
- Check out our interactive office space to see what a biophilic office can look like
- Make sure your desk has plants within eyesight
- Bring a plant to your colleagues
Find out more about Plants at Work Week 2016 by EFIG’s website or by following the event’s official Facebook page. You can also get involved by telling your coworkers, clients, friends, and family about the event and why it’s important to have plants in your working environments.
Want to learn more about plants for your office space? Find out more by reading The Ultimate Guide to Office Plants!