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First impressions matter when it comes to Corporate events; delegates could be in attendance from a day to several days, even longer.

Some of the latest reports value the event industry at a staggering £39.1bn with 50% of companies allocating over 20% of their spending on marketing to organising events – therefore, the look is key!

Do you remember the floral arrangements at a recent event you attended?

Did they fit their purpose? Were you impressed? Did they add to your overall experience?

Sadly, floral displays, regardless of the function or event, often miss the mark and overall event design can leave some clients disappointed and not wishing to re-engage with a brand or company.

Understanding What a Corporate Event Entails.

A corporate event is any form of event, hospitality or social activity which is organised or funded by a business entity.

Due to its somewhat broad definition, it is accurate to say that the target audience for corporate events can be as equally comprehensive as they can include:

  • Employees
  • Board members
  • Stakeholders
  • Customers / clients
  • Potential clients

All sorts of companies organise events for a variety of occasions. They may be looking to celebrate, reward, motivate, team build or encourage potential collaboration. Whatever the occasion, there is always an event solution, and this may require some interior or exterior design.

Let’s look at some examples of corporate events:

The Trade Show

 Organisations often attend trade shows as a lead collation exercise. Companies may also choose to host or sponsor a trade show to reinforce their image as an industry leader among those who may be attending. With today’s ferociously competitive market it’s important to create a show-stopping stand and a memorable experience for any potential guess.

Floresy

Areca Palm DeLuxe

Awards and Gala Dinners

These traditional event experiences can be used in multiple ways. If organised by a business they can reward and motivate employees, suppliers, resellers and potential customers by providing awards across several categories to recognise achievements. Businesses will also regularly sponsor and enter industry awards to promote their business, improve their standing in the industry and increase brand awareness. That being said, it’s important to make guests feel welcome and valued.

Floresy

Calla Lily and Orchid Vase Display

 

Experiential Marketing

This marketing is becoming increasingly more popular as businesses look to create a closer bond with their customers. The idea is to immerse attendees within the brand experience and stay on message through a fun and memorable event. By aligning positive emotions with your brand or business, customers are more likely to want to invest in your products or services, which is why it is important to make the experience as interactive as possible. This way delegates will feel emotionally invested in what your company is selling.

Indoor green wall module vertical garden

Wall Mounted Indoor Green Wall

The Product Launch

It’s an exciting time for any company. All the hard work has finally paid off and it’s time to launch the all-important product. After all this work, you need to capitalise on any potential interest. Interest equals leads and leads equal sales.

If managed well, the event will generate media coverage and an industry buzz prior to the actual product release. These days they need to hit the zeitgeist and have a flashy feeling more than just having a large dinner party where guests only get to interact with people near them. If it’s within your budget, you should consider the value of the celebrity or “influencer” appearance as this can also maximise any potential impact with our social media channels. Just be sure to make it on-brand to the product.

Amaryllis corporate events

Modern Eclectic – Amaryllis

Whatever the occasion there will hopefully be important people and potential clients enjoying the bespoke event that you and your team have created. Opportunities to impress don’t present themselves often so this is your moment to impress them!

Winter is most definitely on its way, but if you are a hotelier the show must go on. So how can you prepare your hotel for winter? 

According to Eurostat: Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy and Austria were the most popular EU destinations for EU tourists travelling outside their own country in the 2018-2019 winter season. 

So if you haven’t already, it’s time to prepare your hotel for the winter months to ensure your business is running smoothly during this season.

Extra Exterior/ Interior Effort

Cold weather generally keeps travellers indoors for longer periods of the time, so make sure your business is a visual delight for the festive season. Play around with wreaths, dry scented fruit and even pine cones. You can even explore outside of seasonal foliage on hand by garnishing your rooms with artificial plants

No watering …no problem!

Yes,  it may be cold, but there are plenty of ways to bring the cosy to your outdoor space.  Consider adding external heating, you can even explore a cosy fire pit. Couple this with super warm blankets, ambient lighting and voile!  A perfect space to drink your mulled wine underneath the stars.

Stockpile 

Floresy prepare hotel for winter toiletries

Bad weather can ultimately lead to issues on the road. And that can lead to delayed or cancelled deliveries to your hotel. You don’t want to be caught out, so it’s time to put your forward-thinking, preparational hat on. 

Over the weeks start to stockpile:

  • Toiletries 
  • Linens 
  • Stationary
  • Food 
  • Shovels 
  • Rock salt 

And in case of a power outage:

  • Torches 
  • Batteries

Keeping a stash of inexpensive umbrellas for the guests can also be a nice touch. 

Safety First

Flooring should be one of your top considerations for many reasons. The carpeting inside public spaces are a heavy expense and need to be maintained as customers trudge snow and mud inside and out.  A non-carpeted or tiled floor can be a slippering accident waiting to happen. Lay down heavy-duty rubber mats with large grooves in them at the entrance to catch the moisture and salt before it’s brought into the hotel. In addition, place longer walk-off mats at some of the entrances to ensure guests can wipe off slush, snow and salt.

Utility Check 

Floresy prepare hotel for winter - utility check

If your utility providers have not contacted you to carry out their checks – then it’s time to contact them. Especially in terms of heating facilities like boilers and thermostats. It’s especially great to take advantage of these visits if your utility contract includes a free maintenance check and if it doesn’t, it may be time to revisit your utility contract. 

On top of this, consider the preventative measures you can take to ensure guests have a delightful mid-winter stay free from disruption. For example gutter cleaning, checking for drafty windows. As the for the exterior, do your lightbulbs need replacing and it might be time for car parking and pavement repairs. 

Change to the Food and Beverage Menu 

It’s the moment you have all been waiting for… Your team have been busy developing an exciting menu with tastes and colours to comfort and brighten the darker days of winter.  Time to release your new hearty winter menu!

Winter can be magical as long as you are prepared. 

It is imperative that you are operationally running during this season as it’s a competitive market out there. So make sure you don’t lose your customers to another hotel around the corner because you weren’t prepared.

Planning now will help ensure that you and your guests experience a great cold-weather travel season without a hitch.

Trade shows are an excellent way to demonstrate the value of your product or service. It’s a big investment in terms of time and cost so careful consideration must be taken when deciding whether you want to actually exhibit. But, once you have decided to go ahead, that’s when you need to come up with an effective strategy.

Pre-Trade show 

Finding the Right Show

Beware – a trade show can be oversaturated. Maybe a show that is not specific to your product or service but where your brand is still relevant could work. For example, if you trade in the gift market then consider exhibiting at a literary trade show. Bookshops thrive on till-point add ons which may work perfectly with what you have to offer.

Stand Design

Like everything else, it is important to get organised as early as possible to allow for any last-minute changes so any contractors that you have hired are not forced to cut corners at the eleventh hour.

Promotion and Appointments

Make sure you are promoting your attendance well in advance. Brands often begin promoting for the following year straight after the current trade show has wrapped up. At the same time – to ensure that you make the most of the event – schedule all of your appointments. Not only does this help make your stand look in demand, it also ensures that you have the relevant visitors at your booth. Passersby notice these things!

The Stand 

Finishing Touches

Exhibition halls can be vast and somewhat sterile. Why don’t you bring a bit of the outside in by adding artificial plants? They can be ordered in advance, unlike real flowers that would need to be ordered last minute to ensure freshness. Once you are finished, you can then place them in storage to be reused for the next show.

Organise Seating

Consider how long attendees have spent walking the trade show halls. When designing your stand, consider various seating options. This would be useful for meetings, to view the products and to encourage potential buyers to spend more time at your stand.

Banners

Brochures and leaflets can often make a space look cluttered and in this day and age of recycling don’t appear sustainable. A banner can promote your core message whilst also hiding any unsightly items from view.

Giveaways

Gratis promotional items will always draw attention, especially if you use bold colours. Think smart with your designs and use them to your advantage – these items will double as advertising for your brand.

Trade show 

Hands-on

When it comes to your stand, try and have some interactive elements for any potential buyers. This encourages conversation and will lead to the lockdown of any potential new clients.

Engage

As well as having your pre-booked visitors, it’s always important to engage with new business. No need for the hard sell, something as simple as a greeting and an innovative demonstration will suffice. Don’t waste valuable time chatting with fellow stand members as you never know, you could miss that vital sale or important new lead. 

Data Collection

Following on from any interaction you’ll need to tie-up any data collection. So ensure you have allocated a space on your stand for a card bowl, laptop or clipboard so you can gather that all-important information. 

Post Trade show 

Follow-up After the Show

Ensure you immediately follow up with any new leads. Collate further details and fulfil orders etc. Time is key, so don’t leave it so long to allow new contacts the opportunity to change their mind. Some businesses send blanket emails, but whatever you do the more personalised your approach the better. 

The trade show experience that you choose to offer is a perfect moment to bring the creativity of your own brand to any potential customer.

Don’t just turn up with a table and chair and hope for the best!

Even if budgets are tight, do your research. There are a multitude of effective ways that you can promote your company without a hefty price tag attached. But if you don’t have the time and want a slick finish, hire an expert to take the pressure off your hands. 

Our technicians at Floresy will provide you with all the assistance you need to install and implement our designs into your booth. They can show you the best methods for assembly, disassembly and reassembly, and will provide any further technical assistance you require.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your project in further details please contact us.

Open your hotel to remote workers and reap the benefits

The number of remote workers is increasing. The Office of National Statistics predicts that 50% of UK employees will be remotely working to some degree by 2020. London alone already has more than a million people who regularly work from cafes, restaurants and other public spaces. D&D London is catering to the coworking market when it opens five of their restaurants to remote workers in June.

As the number of remote workers increases so too does demand for quality remote workspaces. A Guestline survey states that 1 in 4 remote workers feel there aren’t enough hotels that cater to the remote working market.

So, how can your hospitality business benefit from this shift in how we work and encourage digital nomads into your premises?

What is remote working?

A remote worker is someone who works outside a traditional office environment or in a different location to their employer/client.

Remote workers include freelancers and the self-employed who may not have dedicated business premises other than their home. But also includes employed staff who can choose to “work from home” either full-time or part-time aka a remote employee.

Why is remote working increasing?

Being able to work remotely has been empowered by both technology and attitude. Laptops, mobile devices and wifi have given workers the freedom to move away from a desk and therefore also out of the office. Cloud technology allows access to central information from anywhere. Plus video calling and collaboration software such as Slack negates the need for face-to-face communication.

The types of roles have also changed with an increase in tech- or service-orientated jobs. Plus there’s been a cultural shift in our understanding the importance of a good work/life balance that has helped facilitate the shift towards remote working.

What remote workspaces do remote workers choose to work from?

Remote workers are resourceful and creative in where they choose to work:

  • Work from home: not everyone has a study or home office so this can often be on the sofa, at the kitchen table or even in bed.
  • Use a coworking office: remote workers can hire deskspace in a shared office that includes shared office equipment plus other people to chat or network with.
  • Coffee shops and libraries: many public spaces offer free wifi to their patrons. Coffee shops also offer refreshments whereas libraries offer peace and quiet.
  • Your hotel lobby or restaurant: hospitality businesses are beginning to tap into the remote worker market. Read on to find out more.
Remote workers workspace

Remote worker finds a quiet spot to work.

What are the benefits of remote working?

The benefits to the worker and their employee are significant:

  • Workers have a better work/life balance
  • Environment benefits from less commuting and travel
  • Remote working means happier and less stressed employees
  • Remote workers are outperforming office workers with increases in productivity
  • Cost savings for the employer in operating overheads including needing smaller offices.

Is coworking and remote working the same thing?

Not always. A coworking space, where individuals can rent a desk or office space to suit their needs, could be viewed as a regular or traditional place of work – it’s still an office after all. Freelancers and self-employed people are more likely to use a coworking space than a remote employee.

The shared amenities and opportunities to meet and chat with other workers are much like a typical office with similar distractions of the open plan office. However, not all coworking spaces are equal. The rise of the remote worker has also led to the rise in the choice of coworker spaces.

Benefits of opening your hotel to remote workers

Many hotels and restaurants struggle to fill their premises during the day. Tapping into the remote worker market can help boost many aspects of your hospitality business:

  • Increase footfall during quieter times of the day
  • Existing guests will benefit from the workspaces too
  • Encourages contractors and business travellers to your hotel
  • Brings new people into your business who may not have otherwise visited
  • Promotes the use of your function rooms for business purposes
  • Creates a vibrant ambience: your establishment is a popular venue!
  • More sales of beverages, snacks and lunches. How about a remote worker “lunchtime special”?
  • Benefit from word of mouth recommendations.
empty hotel lobby remote workers

An empty lobby during the day isn’t earning you anything.

How to encourage remote workers into your business

Wifi and Connectivity

The biggest factor that will attract remote workers into your lobby is the quality of the internet connection. It needs to be fast, reliable and secure. Show that you welcome remote workers by displaying the information about your free wifi and how to connect to it.

Ambient noise levels

Most remote workers will opt for a quieter workspace (but there are those who thrive in busier environments). So, ambient and background noise is acceptable whereas loud voices are less desirable. Consider how close the coworking space is to the kitchen, front desk, toilets or other areas that are noisier and busier.

Comfort

Your hotel lobby or lounge is probably already a comfortable space. Think about keeping seating in smaller groups and add side or coffee tables. Natural light is best but bear in mind that harsh lighting can increase screen glare.

Privacy

Feeling you have your own space within which to work is true for remote workers as much as it for those confined to a traditional office desk. A sense of workspace privacy is vital:

  • Use plants as room dividers and screens to create privacy.
  • Experiment with different seating and table heights to define zones and options for the remote worker.
  • Create smaller working spaces and a larger meeting room area with your furniture layouts.
  • Keep furniture lower level if you’re tight on space to create a better feeling of space.

Facilities

Are you able to offer device charging facilities or provide access to a printer? Some devices are power hungry so access to sockets is likely to be a dealbreaker for most remote workers. Consider offering free tea, coffee and water as well.

Free vs Paid Coworking space

If you’re are considering a paid coworking space you’ll need to ensure you can consistently offer all of the above. So the decision to offer a rentable space will depend on how much space you can dedicate to coworking. Plus both your location and existing infrastructure. If you’re not in an area of higher-demand – such as a city or large town – then you might not attract enough remote workers to make it viable.

The benefits listed above still apply to a free remote workspace. If encouraging remote workers into your premises helps your business feel vibrant and sells a few more covers and coffees each day, then what do you have to lose?


Floresy is a supplier of artificial plants and trees to hotels, restaurants and commercial businesses in London and across the UK.

Does an office without boundaries create division among workers?

An open-plan office should be a collaborative space, right? A place where workers interact and communicate without hindrance by boundaries such as cubical walls and room dividers. But despite this seemingly obvious statement, the opposite is truer. Open plan office productivity from collaboration is a myth.

A recent study looked at the impact of ‘open’ workspaces on human collaboration. It found that the amount of face-to-face communication dropped by 70% while electronic communication increased by up to 50%.

How was collaboration measured?

Researchers followed two firms during a planned layout change from a cubicle-dominated office to an open plan style. Both firms were Fortune 500 multi-nationals who were about to redesign an office at their head office. The researchers recorded the employee’s behaviours before and after the layout change.

Prior studies looking to measure productivity and collaboration in the workplace have relied upon surveys and activity logging by the workers. This study, by Ethan S. Bernstein and Stephen Turban of Havard University, instead employed a wearable tech device or ‘sociometric badge’.

wearable tech measures open plan office productivity

Sociometric badge measures collaboration in the open-plan office

The badge recorded their face-to-face interactions. The devices worked when they came in close proximity to another badge i.e. when the participants were interacting. The aim of the device was to capture a great deal of data:

  • An infrared sensor captured whom they were facing
  • A microphone captured whether they were talking or listening (without recording what was said for privacy).
  • A movement sensor captured body movement and posture
  • Plus a Bluetooth sensor to record their location within the office

The first study had 52 participants (about 40% of the total workers) and monitored them for 15 working days before the transition. The study used a settling-in period of two months to allow for the changes to become embedded. The monitoring of the participants then continued for another 15 days within their new office environment.

A second study further tested the results from the first study. One hundred employees (roughly 45%) agreed to participate and were monitored using the badges.

This time, monitoring of the participants lasted for eight weeks prior to the redesign and eight weeks after the move. This second study also included the two-month settling-in period.

What were the open plan office productivity results?

Both studies saw a fall in face-to-face communication decrease of around 70%. Email and messaging went up by between 20% to 50% and accounts for some of that lost interaction. 

It seems that, when working within an open-plan setting, workers would seek to create their own “privacy” by isolating themselves. For example, people wear large headphones to appear busy. Or they choose to use electronic communication forms instead.

There is a basic human desire for privacy. Evidence supports that acting on that desire can help productivity. In other words, we don’t like feeling observed. This study also touches on how ‘collective intelligence’ works. It’s a new concept but there could be an optimum amount of stimulation that promotes higher levels of this type of ‘hive-mind’ intelligence. And open-place offices may be too stimulating.

The study sums up the findings “In short… open architecture appeared to trigger a natural human response to socially withdraw from officemates…”

How to use plants to create more privacy in your workplace

It seems that the best office layouts include a variety of different working spaces. Here are some ideas to easily adapt an existing workspace for better open plan office productivity:

  • Avoid desks where the worker’s back faces a walkway or corridor. It makes employees feel on-show plus its bad Feng Shui.
  • Read our blog on how to use plants are room dividers.
  • Include comfortable seating areas without any desks that promote conversation.
  • Take advantage of the open-plan design to create collaborative areas away from people’s desks.
  • Create privacy screens from office dividers or plants such as bamboo to help workers feel more enclosed.
  • Make sure any open-plan areas aren’t overfilled with desks. Respect your employee’s sense of personal space.
  • Always include private working stations or pods that allow employees to focus on work undisturbed.

Floresy is always ready to help solve any office layout dilemmas using our years of experience with commercial interiors. 

 

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.

 

The history of office design reads almost like a history of society.

History of office design: the first office buildings

Administration is probably the second oldest profession in the world. Every ancient civilisation would have needed it and the administrators, no doubt, needed some sort of office (including the obligatory uncomfortable desk chair). The first purpose-built office building in the UK is still in use today. It’s believed to be the iconic Old Admiralty Office that stands on the banks of the River Thames in London. Built in 1726, it’s purpose was to accommodate and process the significant amount of paperwork generated by the Royal Navy. 

East India House, also in London, closely follows The Old Admiralty Office. Embracing the benefits of centralised administration, office buildings began appearing all over the capital and beyond. As you would expect from 18th century Britain, the office class system was immediate. A governmental report on office layout recommended separate rooms for more “intellectual work”. Whilst for the “more mechanical work”, a number of clerks would be housed in the same room (under the proper superintendence, naturally).

Offices of the early twentieth century

Offices were originally part of factory buildings. And they were run like factories too. Many followed the principles created by the mechanical engineer, Frank Taylor. “Taylorism” sort to maximise efficiency by filling vast open-plan offices with rows upon rows of office workers. Needless to say, his methodology lacked the human touch and those offices probably more closely resembled factory-farming than they do a modern day office.

As technology allowed skyscrapers to grow in size in the 1930s, so did the amount of office space. And this allowed for more congenial working conditions. The open plan office began to include private offices for meetings and managers plus communal spaces like kitchens and canteens. Lifts allowed buildings to go higher while electric lighting and air conditioning helped improve the worker’s experience.

Birth of the modern office

Thanks to the Great Depression and a world war, it wasn’t until the 1960s that office design really starts to embrace human interaction, however. Burolandschaft, a concept from Germany, means “office landscape”. It first grew in popularity across northern Europe before spreading to the rest of the world. Layouts were less regimented and the first significant use of office plants was seen. It’s easy to understand how modern office layout design attributes itself to Burolandschaft.

A greater variety of working spaces including communal areas, meeting rooms plus more private individual desks lead the sociable and gregarious Burolandschaft designs to morph into the Action Office(!). Women also began to enter the workforce in greater number during this period. The creation of the desk ‘modesty panel’ quickly followed.

history of office design

So much sexism, so little time

Dark times

However, the addition of autonomous and private working spaces of the Action Office lead the history of office design down a dark alley. As modular office furniture too evolved to meet office trends, the infamous office cubicle was born, nay, spawned. Cubicle farms began to more closely resemble Taylorism than Burolandschaft as the profit-over-people mentality of the 1980s peaked.

Where is office design today?

Despite an uninteresting office design period known as the 1990s, the decade did witness the dawn of the digital revolution. It was this paradigm shift that allowed employees to finally emerge from their cubicle cocoons and see sunlight for the first time in almost two decades. This is perhaps the biggest leap forward in the history of office design.

And technology continues to play the most significant role in office layout evolution. Whilst the concept of a private cubicle desk still exists today, workers are no longer confined to them because of mobile computing. The Cloud, WiFi and decent batteries allow people to work wherever they choose. 

Resimmercial design – when working from home meets open plan office – encourages comfortable and flexible working spaces that feel more like home than the office. Choices of where to work (or where not to work when on a break) can assist a person’s schedule or simply support how they are feeling that day. Collaborate and creative spaces allow teams to work together or hold meetings and presentations. Whilst secluded nooks and pods cater for more quietly productive working.

The future of office design

It’s hard to predict the future but we can learn from the past. Technology has shaped our offices just as much as how an individual’s value within society has. It is likely that greater respect for people’s health and family life will see a flexible working revolution. In a global society with growing access to virtual and augmented realities and 3D printing, these technologies will no doubt also shape how and when we work. Or the AI overlords will rise up and we’ll back in the cubicle farms where we belong. 

 

Interior landscaping is an expression in use by many interior designers who work exclusively with indoor planting schemes to describe what they do. You’ve probably heard of landscaping – the physical process of reshaping the land. Hard landscaping refers to structures such as walls, pergolas, patios and even follies. Soft landscaping is the term for the planting within the landscaped garden.

So, interior landscaping is a bit of an oxymoron. Afterall, there isn’t any land to be ‘scaped! Instead, it is the process of adding plants and greenery to work with the angles, dimensions and light inside buildings and internal structures. Perhaps ‘plantscaping‘ or ‘interiorscaping‘ are more accurate terms. All three of these expressions are rather interchangeable with businesses and designers using them to describe their own unique services.

Despite sounding trendy, the term has been in popular use within the industry for a considerable amount of time. The terms emerged in the 1970s following the publication of Richard Gain’s book ‘Interior Plantscaping‘. Some people choose to use the term exclusively for interior spaces will others use them to describe gardens within buildings.

Interior landscaping is the design and possible implementation of a planting scheme that compliments an interior space. It isn’t the maintenance of those plants although some companies will offer both these services. It also is less about a potted plant of your desk but more about structural planting that works directly with architectural details of a building. 

Examples of Interior Landscaping

Done properly, you probably won’t notice that an interior has been ‘plantscaped‘. We expect interiors in hotels, shopping centres or business foyers to have a certain look and feel.

A popular interior feature is the Green Wall or Living Walls. Usually imposing and certainly spectacular, green walls are plants grown vertically such as this example from Biotecture for Centrica’s office in Windsor.

Interior landscaping of a green wall

Interior landscaping includes impressive installations like his green wall

For large interior spaces – those with considerable ceiling height – using tall indoor plants, such as trees can be just as spectacular. Trees are ultimately architectural plants due to their size. And trees indoors certainly have the wow-factor.

Interior trees can be difficult to maintain due to how very, very thirsty they can be. Some have extensive roots systems that extend out from the trunk for almost as far as the tree is tall. So the solution is to use certain species that could be grown in containers. Or, the alternative solution to this problem is to use tall artificial plants and artificial trees indoors.

Faux Artificial interior tree

Bespoke artificial trees match your individual requirements

How does Interior Landscaping benefit me?

Interior landscaping offers the same benefits as any interior styling. Without a planting scheme, a room or building may seem off or cold and clinical. But, hey, if cold and clinical is your brand – go with that. Interiorscaping is more obvious when it is missing. Here are some of the benefits of interior landscaping:

Brand

Help define who you are and what you do from the moment someone walks into your shop or lobby. Plants and their containers can add humour, elegance or even a tropical vibe.

Ambience

The atmosphere is important in any setting. A structured, neat and uniform planting scheme will add a professional and serious note to an office or lobby. Softer planting can help people feel more relaxed and less anxious which is a great thing in a dentists waiting room.

Function

Plants can help define a room’s function: Lines of container plants will define doorways or walkways. Add discretion and privacy to areas for seating and talking by using the plants as screens or room dividers.

Wellness

Many studies conclude how important connection to nature is. It has a direct impact on the overall wellness and happiness of people working in any environment. Plants help add the greenery needed for that connection. The wellness experienced by workers leads to increases in productivity and fewer sick days.

Noice reduction

Big open spaces are echoey. You can help improve the acoustics of large spaces by adding a planting to dampen the sounds. This is great for open-plan offices and hotel lobbies. But also for busy restaurants. Less so for libraries.

Interested in learning more? Check out these posts on the benefits of artificial plants in commercial spaces and biophilic design.

Floresy has an interior landscaping offering as part of our bespoke services. By working closely with you, we will use our knowledge and experience to design a scheme that works for and for your space. Contact us today for more information on how we can help.

 

 

Biophilic design is a concept that strives to incorporate nature into our homes, workplaces and community spaces. It embraces the connection between humans and nature by creating a harmonious space that is fulfilling yet still functional and efficient.

The awareness of biophilic design in the workplace is increasing. It comes as we acknowledge how prevalent mental health disorders and cardiovascular disease are in our western societies. The World Health Organisation predicts that these stress-related conditions will be the two biggest health problems by 2020.

The traditional designs of offices and other workplaces focus more on how cost-effective the floor space can be instead of how well people can exist in the space. Furthermore, the increase in technology-dependence and ‘screen-time’ and we lose our connection with nature for significant proportions of our lives.

Biophilic design puts the human experience and well-being at the centre of any design. It is based on the observed concept of biophilia.

What is biophilia?

Biophilia was first noted by psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in his 1973 book The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness. He described it as “the passionate love of life and of all that is alive”. The term was then popularised in the 1980s by the psychologist, Edward O Wilson, in his book, Biophilia (1984). Wilson proposed that humans innate desire to connect with nature is, in part, genetic. He observed how we were becoming disconnected from the natural world because of increases in urbanisation.

Examples of Biophilic Design

Perhaps the most famous examples of biophilic design are the creative playgrounds that global corporations like Google call ‘offices’. However, biophilic design is not limited to billion-dollar industries. Proponents of biophilic design include designers such as Oliver Heath who’s projects have included a garden school in Hackney, London.

biophilic design in an office

Google’s office in Dublin shows examples of biophilic design in the workplace.

biophilc design healthcare hospital

Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne has a large-scale aquarium in its atrium. Photograph: John Gollings

What is the WELL Building Standard?

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is a leader in the global wellness movement that focuses on the ‘design, operations and behaviours’ of buildings. The standard is a holistic approach to well-being and is based on seven core concepts:

  • Air – promote clean air and reduce in sources of indoor air pollution
  • Water – provide safe and clean water for various uses
  • Nourishment – encourage better eating habits and food culture
  • Light – protect the body’s circadian system and support good sleep quality
  • Fitness – integrate physical activity into everyday life and reduce sedentary behaviours
  • Comfort – distraction-free, productive and comfortable indoor environments
  • Mind – optimise cognitive and emotional health through design and technology

Any building can apply for the WELL certification. It is a fantastic tool, especially when used to improve the well-being of the building’s occupants.

What is Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)?

Sick building syndrome is a recognised medical condition relating to poor air quality in workplaces such as offices. The symptoms include headaches, dizziness and nausea as well as irration to the eyes, nose and throat. The majority of cases are considered to be linked to flaws in a building’s air conditioning, heating and ventilation. Contamination including microbial and chemical are also factors.

Because of these factors, addressing the main causes of SBS is likely to involve a serious overall of a building’s infrastructure. However, opening windows and giving the building a good clean are the first steps in addressing problems. The introduction of plants into the building will also help with poor air quality.

What can biophilic design do for you?

There are many studies that show that biophilic design can have a positive impact. Commercial, civic and residential buildings in addition to public spaces can benefit:

  • Biophilic workplaces show increases in worker well-being of up to 13% and in productivity of up to 8%.
  • Healthcare spaces see post-operative recovery rates reduce by 8.5% and a 22% reduction in the need for pain medication.
  • Customers are willing to pay up to 12% more for goods or services when a retail unit is situated in an area with vegetation and landscaping.
  • Urban spaces with greater access to nature have less crime by around 8%.
  • Guests staying in hotel rooms with views of nature including greenery or water are willing to pay 23% more than for rooms that don’t.
  • Concentration levels, rates of attendance and test results all increase in educational spaces with biophilic elements. The negative impacts of ADHD decrease.

In a 100% organic nutshell, biophilic design can have a positive impact in so many areas of our lives. Studies have shown that the simple act of adding plants to an office can have a positive measurable effect. The mental well-being of workers improves through reductions in stress, depression and anxiety.

Floresy design services are here to help you provide the right biophilic solution for your building. The addition of the colour green will create more relaxing and calm spaces for your workers.  Plants and greenery will help improve the customer experience for your guests and clients. Contact us here so we can get started today.