Planted separation for comfort
After being cooped up at home for several weeks, it is natural some individuals may feel anxious about returning to the workplace. Aside from the many health benefits interior plants provide and their ability to filter toxins from the air, plants can also create natural barriers in office spaces, assisting social distancing measures and providing a degree of comfort for returning staff. Using nature to provide dividing lines and mark out perimeters can help to reassure employees and demonstrate a company’s respect for the wellbeing of team members.
With open plan offices trending over the last few decades and space a premium, planted containers can be incorporated quickly and easily into office areas to soften the room and create private areas within the larger space. Free standing planters or movable planted dividers can instantly build a natural wall, with the added benefit of deadening noise as a result of a plant’s excellent sound absorption qualities.
For offices with more scope for refurbishment, adding a green wall or live divider can not only aid separation it can create a sensational office feature. By varying textures and colours, displays can be created that will turn heads and provide a calm and peaceful atmosphere. Similarly, cabinets which have planters incorporated could be the perfect solution, especially if space is a premium, below, the furniture provides functionality as well as a view of nature and a physical barrier.
One of the beauties of using plants to separate office areas, is that depending on the plant varieties incorporated in displays there is scope to vary the height and density of the display to suit all tastes. Recent trends have seen a resurgence of large leaved plants which can be used to build luscious green divisions. Similarly, densely leaved, tall specimens can be planted in toughs to create effective screens. Our top five ‘giant’ varieties can be found in our recent blog ‘jungle fever‘.
However, if recreating the jungle is not quite the desired effect, low level planting or more architectural varieties such a as Zamioculcus or Sansevieria can be utilised to create the sense of separation without being totally divisive.
While protecting employees at work will be a key priority when offices begin to reopen, so too will ensuring visitors to the premises feel safe and comfortable – and that employees feel protected from those non colleagues on site. Reception areas are a perfect example of where planting barriers can be used to construct secluded spots for visitors, whilst welcoming them to the premises.
With more distance between people and less opportunity to chat to those around you, adding a small desk plant for your staff would be a lovely touch to welcome them back to work and provide them with some company to get them through the day.