Could you or any of your employees benefit from great outdoor space at work?

In today’s working environment, the economic pressures are high and the demands to succeed are intense. It’s no wonder lunch breaks are slowly becoming a thing of the past for many and adding to stress levels.

Space for employees to remove themselves from staring at their screens and recharge for a moment equals smart business thinking. A breath of fresh air feels like the best thing in the world if you’re bogged down by work. It delivers that much-needed energy boost and clarity of mind – which in turn leads to a more productive workplace.

According to a poll undertaken by hospitality specialist Sodexo and the nonprofit health body Ukactive, 800 British workers they surveyed only took an average of 22 minutes for their lunch breaks.

How employees can benefit 

Taking a short break every couple of hours from a tough work schedule helps employees keep in good shape physically, mentally and emotionally, considerably improving productivity.

Spending as little as 20 minutes a day outside can:

  • reduce stress
  • improve memory and concentration
  • restore mental energy 
  • encourage team building
  • improve social interaction

How to Create an Outdoor Office Space

  1. Plants, plants and more plants

    Fill the space with (you guessed it) … plants. As a business, things can get busy and stressful at times, so the last thing you may be thinking about is tending to green spaces and making sure it looks luscious all year round. Try a low maintenance version of a botanical garden by opting for artificial plants. You can still mix in live plants for the extra wow factor. Grow herbs or vegetables. Or, plant flowers and grasses and create a space that attracts butterflies and pollinators.
  2. Seating

    If you really want to entice employees into using the outdoor space, provide comfortable seating where they can enjoy lunch, take a moment to themselves or even have a catch up with colleagues. 
  3. Walking Trails

    For larger spaces with land. A walking trail would be a great way to get out, take in some fresh air and get some vitamin D. For an extra endorphin boost,  this could be a great time of the day for a run or team walk.
  4. Outdoor Grilling Station

    If you really want to splash out, how about a grilling station? This would make a fabulous way for the team to get together on a Friday afternoon.

With the pressures placed on today’s workforce, it is important to remember that employees need to detach from their screens and take those all-important regular breaks.   

Giving employees an opportunity to untether themselves from technology is one more step on the ladder to staff retainment and loyalty.

The seasons are changing and with that change comes an exciting chance to bring a new and positive vibe into living space using the powers of Feng Shui.

You may or may not believe in this age-old Eastern philosophy however, it may be a great wealth of inspiration if you have hit the proverbial brick wall.

What is Feng Shui?

Originating in China over 6000 years ago, Feng shui means “fēng ‘wind’ and shuǐ ‘water’”.  Two of the earth’s natural flowing elements.

Considered a  “pseudoscience”, it is a method that uses the position of one’s body and the objects in a given space to create a sense of balance and harmony. It is believed that how you arrange a space can affect how energy (chi) flows through it.

Plants play a pivotal role in the art of Feng Shui, representing growth and new beginnings. They are related to the wood element in the feng shui Bagua map, helping to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve productivity among other things. 

Who wouldn’t want this additional boost to help create a calm yet productive lifestyle?

But where do artificial plants fit in the grand scheme of interior decoration and how do they affect the Feng shui? Feng shui interior design

Are Artificial plants Ok to use?

Sure real plants provide great energy – as long as they are getting all the necessary nutrients and light. However, plants that are lacking in these things will eventually die and that death will then go on to create a negative vortex of energy!

Although faux plants may not generate the same natural energies – principles teach us that it is not all about the material of the object. The beauty of a high standard faux plant is that its low maintenance removes the stress of continuous upkeep, providing a psychological impact of uplifting energy.

So the straight answer is …YES! Faux plants most definitely have a part to play in the teachings of Feng Shui. 

3 Tips to Create Better Feng Shui Using Artificial Plants

 

1. Use plants with a natural flow and aesthetic appeal

Go for a leafy rounded plant that displays a smooth texture. According to the teachings of Feng Shui, a plant rich in colour can lift your mood at all times. 

A blossoming plant promotes a sense of fresh life creating positive energy. As you know, a faux cannot blossom. So a great way around this is to opt for an artificial plant with a flowering effect. On the plus side, there won’t be any fallen leaves to clear up!

2. Keep your artificial plants clean

Whether you are using artificial or live, plants covered in dust will not aid in good energy dynamics. Wipe down your plant regularly – a clean artificial plant is way better than a dead or dirty natural plant. 

Wiping down plant

3. Know your limitations and work around them

If it’s a large workspace you’re having to consider, give yourself the opportunity to play around with the internal landscape. If you happen to be in a small office space that may be shared,  consider a potted plant to make it easier to move around. 

There are plenty of options for all kinds of spaces no matter the size, it just requires a little imagination.

That’s the fun part!Feng Shui living room design

If you’re a Feng Shui believer and you decide to go for artificial plants, you can expect to bring good health, wealth, harmonious relationships and career growth.

These amazing natural looking ideas can be achieved with our diverse selection of artificial greeneries for the home and commercial spaces.

A survey of 2000 UK workers by Mindspace (a co-working and collaborative workspace provider), uncovered some disconcerting opinions among employees. A surprising 16% of 18 to 24-year-olds said that they had left a job because of its poor workplace design. A further 31% of workers felt their current work environment was uninspiring, while 28% stated that their workplace is simply outdated and dull.

Another study by Office Genie in 2017, a whacking 45% of employees were frustrated at the lack of collaborative spaces in their place of work. And 20% actually stated that their work environment hindered their ability to do their job.

So how does a modern business attract, and retain, the more discerning generation of employees a.k.a. the millennials? What can office design do to improve worker happiness? Would adopting resimmercial design help with your businesses recruitment challenges?

What is resimmercial design?

The word ‘resimmercial’ is a blend of two words: residential and commercial. And this is exactly what resimmercial design is all about – blending home and work life. By creating spaces that are more home-like and less like a place of work, designers are hoping to make the office a more comfortable place to be.

Resimmercial design follows on from commercial spaces that have introduced more creativity to their premises. Sometimes, that may have been through necessity such as the “hot-desking” concept. Other reasons include wanting to change the atmosphere to make it more productive or relaxed.

Resimmercial design

Workplaces that feel more like home. Resimmercial design.

The main principles are creating spaces that feel warm, welcoming and homely plus flexibility for employees with different working preferences. This is predominantly achieved by opting for non-traditional office furniture, moving away from neutral tones and adding more natural textures into the work environment.

What are the features of resimmercial design?

Communal and casual areas

Think less “open-plan office” and more hotel lobby. These areas are lounge spaces with casual seating arrangements that are conducive to conversation. But likewise, a good resimmercial space also more secluded spots for those times when someone needs a quiet place to work.

Multi-functional spaces

By assigning less purpose to a space you allow it to adapt to the needs of the people working there. A room isn’t a meeting room because it’s just another space that could be used for a meeting. Is that a coffee bar or a standing desk? The user decides.

Soft edges and rich textures

That oh-so-typical modular office furniture is replaced with less ‘officey’ pieces often in vibrant colours or natural materials such as wood, cork or bamboo. There are more fabric coverings in a resimmercial space including tactile velvets, prints and other interesting textures. Just like all the curtains, carpets, cushions and upholstery that you would expect to find in a comfortable home.

Resimmercial design is a relaxing work environment

Resimmercial feels like you could be working whilst sitting on your sofa at home

Closer to nature

Resimmercial design often incorporates biophilic principles too. The use of plants helps to create a healthy and relaxing environment As does other natural materials such as stone and water. There may even be a fish tank (ok, that’s very “dentist’s waiting room” and nothing new but, aw, look at the fishies!).

Why choose resimmercial for your office?

An important factor that influences a millennial’s decision making, whether it is spending money or choosing a company to work for, is the ethics and authenticity of a brand or employer. Creating positive working environments shows a commitment to staff welfare above and beyond what any brochure or HR person can demonstrate. And this will be important for any prospective millennial candidate.

Once you’ve attracted talented people to your business it’s important to retain them. The cost of hiring a new employee can cost as much as what you’re paying them. Offering a flexible work environment will help to keep your employees happy and productive. Of course, flexibility must include options for not working in the office in the first place. Reducing staff turnover helps reduce the overall cost of recruitment.

Stress and the mental health of our colleagues is a serious topic. Ping pong tables and breakout areas aren’t remedies for depression. But sympathetic resimmercial design can, in part, offer a less intense working environment for anyone going through a mental illness.

Get it right and the result is fresh, valued and happy staff. And since happiness is a powerhouse, this can lead to improvements in productivity, better work/life balance and fewer sick days. It’s a win-win.

Happy workers in resimmercial office

Ok, there’s a happy worker and then there’s this guy.

Of course, this flexible, adaptable and spontaneous office design could not exist without the advent of mobile computing. WiFi and other technologies that have freed us from the standard 1.5m power cable “leash” are fueling this office place revolution. But is the idea of a progressive workplace anything new? Read our blog post on the history of office design to find out.

 

Rustic interior design styles are characterised by an eclectic look where natural textures dominate. The organic beauty of wood, usually unpainted and often untreated, is used throughout on the floor, walls and in the furniture. Natural fibres such as cotton, linen and hemp, worn leather, wicker and earthenware compliment the wood.  Unique handcrafted items from reclaimed materials show age and wear. Distressed pieces are repurposed or made good. Plump upholstery and generous cushions, embroidered table linen and handwoven rugs combine to create warmth, comfort and a homely quality.

Rustic Chalet Interior Design Style

There are many variations of rustic styles including English cottage, beach house and log cabin. The Rustic Chalet is a take on the login cabin look with a more European twist than it’s North American counterpart.rustic

Think of a rustic chalet and you think of an alpine lodge, set among the trees and overlooking an Austrian village or French ski resort. They are cosy and warm. Open fires in the winter and large glass verticals making the most of the summer sun. A rustic chalet is likely to be open plan and unapologetically constructed from pine. Large brick or stone built fire-pits are focal points around which ample sofas are arranged.  They offer a snug place to curl up with a hot chocolate after a hard day on the slopes.

But rustic doesn’t have to mean backwards or old-fashioned. Open plan living is a modern concept that resonates with the single-room living structures first built during the Stone Age. Add built-in kitchens, floor-to-ceiling windows and 4K HDR TVs and your rustic chalet becomes a modern social space. The warmth and character of old meets the convenient and technology-ready future.

Rustic Chalet – Cyclamen Arrangements

Cyclamen are winter- and spring-flowering plants native to countries of the Mediterranean basin. Their delightful flowers range in colour from white through pinks and into purples. They often have variegated leaves. And due to their compact nature, they do very well in pots either indoors or outdoors. Despite their association with funerals, their meaning is really that of sorrowful departure. Such as leaving behind your beautiful alpine cabin at the end of your skiing holiday. But they also make good leaving present for someone who is retiring.

Floresy offers three made-to-order flower arrangement featuring cyclamen: cyclamen in a handmade casingcyclamen mass in a pot of stone and cyclamen in a quadrat.

Cyclamen in a handmade casing

Cyclamen in a Handmade Casing is a sweet and charming arrangement with those all-important finishing handmade touches. It is no surprise that this is one of our most popular compositions.  It would fit in perfectly, and add a splash of colour, in any modern rustic interior. This arrangement would sit well in a traditional English pub or a friendly B&B that offers all the comforts of home. As cyclamen is often winter-flowering, this display would also be a welcome sight at the reception desk of any hotel during the festive season.

pink-cyclamen

 

Cyclamen mass in a stone pot

The Rustic Chalet – Cyclamen Mass is a larger display than the handmade casing. Instead, it features textured brown stoneware. Because of its compact and neat design makes a perfect table centrepiece for any rustic setting. The cyclamen mass is available in three sizes.

Cyclamen Quadrat

The Cyclamen Quadrat uses the same stoneware but larger still and square version. This arrangement is big enough to be floor standing so you can use it to define a doorway the floor or on a pot stand to add extra height or impact. The winter berries, fern fronds and dried moss spill over the top of the pot softening its angular edges. This display comes in three heights, each featuring white cyclamen in bloom.cyclamen-s

All these displays are available to buy from Floresy and meet with our high standard of design and production. We also offer a bespoke design service to fit all of your interior and exterior design needs. You can contact us here or call us on 0208 0770891 for more information.