Posted In // Design Tips
Why our indoor environments matterAmazingly, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, we spend about 90% of our time indoors. That right there is already a good argument that a workplace should be a truly livable, healthy environment – the sheer amount of time spent in it makes it a major quality-of-life factor.
For example, one simple way employers can focus on wellness is with the incorporation of plants, which suck up toxins. Analyses of air samples by the EPA revealed that the amount of pollution inside can often be as much as 5 times higher than outside.
“Indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health,” explained the EPA. “The problems they cause can be subtle and do not always produce easily recognized or immediate impacts on health.” NASA said that the best plants to suck up pollution are:
1. Garden Mum
2. Spider Plant
4. Ficus/Weeping Fig
5. Peace Lily
6. Boston Fern
7. Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
8. Bamboo Palm
9. Aloe Vera
Keep in mind, plants are just one way to create a more positive work environment – but it’s certainly a good example of the impact a change in your environment can have on health and productivity. In fact, studies have shown that plants reduce stress and boost concentration.
Meet the office of the futureBusinesses in urban areas are often intrigued by the idea of taking an older building and refurbishing it with the latest breakthroughs in research-driven, evidence-based design.
An example comes from Albuquerque, where an “office of the future” was designed at the May 2015 “New Real Estate Playbook” seminar, which was held by the New Mexico chapter of real estate professional association NAIOP. At the seminar, a research team of architects and design professionals, presented the way that they would recommend transforming a 1987 commercial building into one that is built specifically for the needs of the 21st century workplace.
The building would be gutted and rebuilt, optimized for modern user-friendliness and all the elements that have been proven to increase workplace efficiency. In the end, the facility would resemble a self-contained community.
Richard Metcalf of the Albuquerque Journal explained, “The breakdown of usage would be retail on the first floor, shared amenities like multi-purpose rooms, bike storage, showers and a communal kitchen on the second floor, multi-tenant offices on the third and fourth floors, and apartments on the fifth through seventh floors.”
Better design for better resultsThe role of plants in stress-reduction suggests environmental factors are critical to wellness and productivity. However, you don’t have to completely overhaul a building to benefit from research-based design. You just need a strong partner.
At Beaux-Arts Group, we do more than sell furniture. We “understand” space. >>> Contact a design specialist.