Reimagining the Future  
Workplace 
Post-COVID

2022 
DESIGN
FORECAST

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As our calendars switched over to the year 2020, no one could have predicted just how much the world — and our lives — would change. As COVID-19 swept the globe, companies faced a threat they had never experienced before. Suddenly, workplaces were no longer safe, as every surface, confined space, and employee became a potential risk for the deadly virus to spread.


Thankfully, 2021 saw the development of vaccines, as well as a greater understanding of how certain protocols, such as social distancing, mask-wearing, and air purification, could significantly reduce the risk of transmission. As a result, people slowly began to return to their workplace after spending several months working from the comfort of their own homes.

Workplace

Reimagining the Future

Not surprisingly, the demand for prioritizing employee health and wellness is now greater than ever before.  A survey from Champion Health showed 90% of UK employees believed the pandemic had impacted their mental health, while a similar survey reported more than 40% of businesses are extremely worried about the impact the pandemic is likely to have on their employees.

Health & Wellness

How Employers Are Prioritizing 

90%

of UK employees believed the pandemic had impacted their mental health.

40%

of businesses are extremely worried about the impact the pandemic is likely to have on their employees.

As a result, the workplace has been reimagined, reassessed, and reconfigured. Spaces crammed with desks are being swapped for socially distanced layouts, air purification units are being installed in droves, and hygiene stations have been established.


One of the most exciting changes to the workplace has been the growing popularity of biophilic design, including its incorporation of natural elements into offices. The term biophilic is derived from the Greek words “bios” and “philia," meaning love of life or living things.


In architecture, biophilic design is a sustainable strategy that aims to reconnect people with the natural environment. It does so by incorporating elements of Mother Nature — such as plants, natural light, and earthy materials — into indoor spaces. Rather than requiring a workplace to undergo expensive renovations, companies are looking for more affordable ways to utilize biophilic design in their spaces. This is where living plant walls are proving to be popular, as they’re portable, easy to install, and provide a wide range of benefits to the health and wellbeing of those around them.

Living walls don’t just provide a beautiful expanse of greenery. Studies have also explored the numerous advantages they offer when installed in an indoor space, such as improved air quality, enhanced productivity, greater health, and more.

Living Walls

The Benefits of 

Air Qaulity

The pandemic has increased the demand for high-quality air filtration and proper ventilation. While this has led to a dramatic rise in sales of filtration systems, the answer to combating airborne disease spread may lie closer to home.


According to NASA's Clean Air Study, plants can contribute significantly to healthier indoor air, improving indoor air quality by up to 85.8%. Their research found that plant roots and their associated microorganisms destroy pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and organic chemicals, before converting these air pollutants into new plant tissue.


This is hardly surprising, considering that we owe the cleanliness of our air to the vast rainforests that span the globe. Indoor plants, including the extensive collection you’ll find on a living wall, simply allow us to enjoy cleaner and more purified air on a smaller scale.

85%

According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, plant can contribute significantly to healthier indoor air, improving IAQ by up to 85.8%.

Productivity

There is clear evidence directly linking biophilic design elements such as living walls with an increase in employee productivity. An Exeter University study found that employees were 15% more productive when working in a space containing plant life. Furthermore, those working in green-certified offices enjoy a 26% boost in cognition, leading to improved productivity.


Research by Harvard also states that 70% of employees believe views of nature improve their work performance. Thankfully, you don’t need an office overlooking a park to reap these benefits. Setting up living walls within workspaces provides the same nature-filled environment employees need in order to thrive.

15%

more productive when working in a space containing plant life.

70%

of employees believe views of nature improve their work performance

Creativity

In recent years, companies such as Google and Apple have reinvented their workplace culture to favor and foster employee creativity. This is because organisations that nurture a workplace culture of creativity are likely to have happy and motivated employees who remain more productive and loyal.


Boosting creativity in the workplace isn’t just reliant on introducing games rooms or chill-out zones, for example. Incorporating an abundance of plant life through living walls has also been proven to get those creative juices flowing.


A study conducted by Texas A&M University revealed plants can boost creativity by 15% or more within the workplace. The reason for this may lie in the appearance of plants themselves. In one study, German researchers had subjects stare at certain colors for just two seconds before doing a creative task. They found that the color green enhanced people’s creative output more than other colors, including white, grey, red, and blue. As a result, more companies are banishing their plain office walls in favor of those covered with foliage.

15%

A study conducted by Texas A&M University reveled plants can boost creativity by 15% or more within the workplace. 

Employee Wellness

A study by a research group at the University of Exeter, in association with Indoor Garden Design, found that foliage in an office can boost staff wellbeing by up to 47%.
 

Research also shows that the benefits of plant-purified air extend to an employee’s health and wellbeing. As a result, plants increase the flow of oxygen in the body, lower blood pressure and heart rate, strengthen the immune system, cleanse the lungs, alleviate stress, and energize the body.

47%

plants in an office can boost staff wellbeing by up to 47%.

Sound Absorption

Exposure to prolonged and excessive noise isn’t just annoying. It can also cause a number of detrimental side effects, including lack of focus, decreased productivity, hearing damage, increased stress, headache disorders, and communication difficulties.  


Thankfully, studies have shown that living walls can reduce indoor sounds by an average of 15 decibels. For perspective, this is the difference in volume between a vacuum cleaner (75 dBA) and a lawnmower (90 dBA). In an environment filled with the hum of chatter and photocopiers, a reduction of 15 decibels can make a huge difference.

15 dBA

studies have shown that living walls can reduce indoor sounds by an average of 15 decibels.