Thu, Feb 08, 2018 - Page 13 News List

Green space

Why your office is beginning to look like a forest

By Rebecca Greenfield  /  Bloomberg

Many offices haven’t gone full Well but have borrowed elements of the healthy building lifestyle. View Dynamic Glass windows have been installed at more than 400 companies, including FedEx and Delta Air Lines. Plant walls aren’t an uncommon site in offices these days. Some companies have even adjusted the air circulation in their workspaces to offset “volatile organic compounds” in the air. Others have expressed interest in having an on-site aviary, said NBBJ’s Mullenix.

Like many office design trends, much of this is done in the name of productivity. Myriad studies point to the benefits of natural spaces. Plants make us more productive, one international study found. Another found that cortisol levels are higher in spaces with limited natural light. Elementary school students scored 20 percentage points higher on tests when they sat in naturally lit classrooms. And studies have linked stale office air to lower productivity.

Not all offices have to look like a jungle to have the intended effects. Aaptiv, a New York City-based technology company, has about 20 plants scattered across its one-floor open office.

“It makes it feel more laid-back and a little more peaceful,” said Jake Ludwig, a production coordinator in the audio department at Aaptiv. “It’s New York, it’s kind of gray. It’s nice to have a lot more green around.”

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