22 Dec 2014

Is Your Office Lean or Green

The December 2014 issue of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter highlighted several studies which gauged the impact of plants on workplace productivity and job satisfaction.

Here’s what they found:

chair and plant
Is Your Office Lean or Green

“A popular business belief, dating back to the 18th century, is that keeping workspaces free of clutter is a key to productivity. Many offices are thus designed with minimalism in mind. That means no photos, artwork, souvenirs, plants, or other adornments. On the other hand, the philosophy that enriching an environment-notably with plants-can increase happiness and efficiency also has deep roots. Many studies have noted both physical and psychological benefits of “green” workplaces, though the studies have had limitations.

So is it better to go lean or go green?

To find out, researchers did a series of real-world experiments in which employees, from call center workers to consultants, were assigned to either Spartan or plant-bedecked spaces. The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

In the first experiment, employees who sat at desks in direct view of at least two plants for three weeks reported improvements in con­ centration, productivity, and air quality, relative to workers not exposed to plants.

In the second one, job satisfaction went up when plants were added to the office, over both the short term (2 weeks) and long term (3Y2 months), with no changes in the no-plant control group.

The third experiment looked at objective measures of productivity. Employees were assigned to either a lean workstation (desk and chair) or green workstation (addition of plants), where they completed tasks involving information management, information processing, and vigilance. Those in the green group completed the tasks faster, without a rise in errors-boosting productivity by 15 percent.

“A green working environment is consistently more enjoyable for employees, more conducive to concentration, and more productive for business than its lean equivalent, the authors wrote. That’s because plants and green spaces, which reflect the natural World, can have a restorative effect on attention. In addition, enriched office spaces may communicate the message that employers care about their workers, which in turn, increases employee work engagement and satisfaction. Plants can also enhance indoor environments by removing some pollutants.

If your office space is Spartan, you might ask your employer to liven it up with some plants. Or bring in your own, if allowed It’s a relatively inexpensive investment that may go a long way in improving well-being at work ­ a win-win for both employee and employer”

Photo Credit

13 Jan 2010

It Is Moss Month at Plantscapes!

spanish moss hanging from trees and rocks
Spanish Moss On A Tree

It is Moss Month at Plantscapes – and that means it is Moss Month for you, too, if you have an Interior Plant Maintenance account.

Doesn’t that sound intriguing? Do you want to know more?

Interior plants, just like the flowers and shrubs in landscaped flower beds, thrive and grow better with a top dressing on the soil surface.

At Plantscapes, we use Spanish moss for that top dressing.

Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is very different than either peat moss or the moss and lichen you’ll find growing on trees and stones here in the Northwest. In fact, Spanish moss isn’t a real moss at all. It is a type of bromeliad (or air plant).

You’ve probably seen pictures of Spanish moss hanging from tree limbs in the Florida Everglades or in Louisiana bayous. It grows throughout much of the South. The moss Plantscapes uses has been carefully harvested and sterilized. All of our Spanish moss is warranted to be insect and disease free.

Every January, we celebrate Moss Month by replacing and revitalizing the moss at all of our interior accounts – at no additional cost to you, naturally. This program is just part of Plantscapes commitment to keeping your plants looking as good as they did on the day they were first installed.

What’s so great about Spanish moss?

  • It helps to cool the soil during hot weather
  • It retains moisture in the soil, helping to ensure your plants don’t dry out.
  • It hides the rim of the containers, giving pots a softer, more natural look.
  • It keeps fungus gnats from laying eggs in the soil
  • It hides bare soil – which just plain looks better
  • It discourages people from using planters as trash cans – a very important consideration in public places like malls.

    Bromeliad with spanish moss
    Bromeliad with Spanish moss

Plantscapes always “stages” our large containers with Spanish moss. However, after a year, egven the most artistic staging can look somewhat beaten down. Top watering can form little canyons in the moss. People often touch or pat it – “just to see” – and that can flatten or compact the moss. Over time, since Spanish moss is alive, parts of the moss will die off, leaving bare patches.

So with every new year, our technicians evaluate every container at every account. Sometimes we’ll just add a little new moss. Sometimes we’ll pull out the old moss and completely replace it with all new moss. And while we are doing that, we’ll also be inspecting the soil levels in your containers and topping them off when needed, evaluating root growth and root pruning as needed, and checking for signs of insects.

Your business is the reason we are in business. So we will make sure that your interiorscape, no matter how large or small, looks as new as the new decade.

Photo by faul Released under Creative Commons License

25 Apr 2009

Bring The Beauty of Flowers Inside

As this cool, dark spring drags on and on in the Northwest, now would be the perfect time to add a burst of bright color to your office. Plantscapes Color Bowl program features regularly changed flowering plants that will add a touch of spring to even the dreariest days.

Call (206) 623-7100 to find out more.