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Collaborative Spaces: Designing Green Zones for Team Interaction

The corporate world is full of drive and energy–but when you’re completely immersed in it, it can also be draining. We see it all the time in NYC, where our headquarters are; big ideas flying, people hustling to get from one place to another, teams collaborating…but if you look more closely, there are also plenty of signs of fatigue, which ultimately affects productivity. 

But what if we told you that incorporating greenery into your workplace could significantly boost your team’s creativity and productivity? In our drive to get things done, it’s easy to overlook the transformative power of nature, but you’d be surprised at how this simple detail can improve not just productivity, but also mood and overall well-being? Many companies that embrace this idea have even gone so far as to create “green zones” in their community spaces to encourage more collaboration. Let’s take a deeper dive into this concept.

The Power of Plants: More Than Just Aesthetic Appeal

Seasonal plants do more than just beautify your office space; they breathe life into it. They create a vibrant, refreshing environment that stimulates the mind and encourages innovative thinking. With their rich colors and dynamic growth, plants mirror the creative process, inspiring your employees to think outside the box and come up with fresh ideas.

Moreover, the presence of greenery has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and increase mental well-being. According to a research study by the University of Exeter, employees’ productivity jumped by 15% when previously ‘”lean” work environments were filled with just a few houseplants. By creating a serene, calming atmosphere, plants help your team maintain focus and stay energized throughout the day.

Tailoring Your Green Zone for Collaboration

Designing a green zone for team interaction involves more than simply placing plants around the office. This process should be strategic, thoughtful, and tailored to your team’s needs. Creativity rules the day here. Let’s discuss some ways you might make this happen in your workplace.

  • Use plants as natural dividers. Large plants can serve as natural dividers between workspaces, providing a sense of privacy without isolating team members. Plants can also be used to cordon off collaborative areas or even envelop them. Not only does this approach help you create separated spaces, but the plants themselves serve as acoustical barriers, absorbing sound waves and reducing background noise for a quieter, more focused work environment.
  • Bring seasonal colors inside. Rotate your plants according to the season. Bright flowering plants in the spring and summer, multicolored leaves in the fall, and evergreens in the winter can bring the beauty and variation of the outdoors inside, sparking creativity and keeping the office atmosphere fresh.
  • Enhance air quality with air-purifying plants. Studies show that plants naturally filter toxins out of the air and put more oxygen into it, which improves brain function. Some plants, like spider plants or peace lilies, are particularly good at purifying the air. Placing these near workstations and in collaborative spaces can improve air quality and employee health, leading to increased productivity.
  • Get creative. Thinking outside the box (or outside the planter, if you will) can yield some interesting solutions. Even small spaces, for example, can be turned into green zones with the strategic use of green walls and other features. (One of our clients even had us suspend plants from the ceiling inside a collaborative space to create an indoor parklike, “secret garden” effect.)

Implementing the above solutions can help turn any collaborative workspace into a sanctuary from the usual office clamor, facilitating fruitful discussions and collaboration among team members while improving overall wellness (which, by the way, also boosts productivity). It’s little wonder, then, that bringing the outdoors indoors has become such a trend in corporate work environments. At Horticultural Creations, we thrive on developing spaces like these for our clients. To learn more, contact us here.

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