Staff rooms as we known them may become a thing of the past as more businesses opt to create ‘wellness rooms’ for their employees, according to phs Greenleaf, which has been supplying planting and landscaping services to businesses for nearly 30 years.
Under-utilised areas and unused rooms in the workspace are increasingly being transformed into tranquil wellness rooms – small, private spaces designed to provide an oasis of calm and peace where employees can retreat to for a mental break in the working day.
The rooms are usually designed to be used by one person at a time, allowing them to step away from the working environment completely. They often have a ‘no technology’ policy and are filled with comfortable furniture and natural greenery and plants, known for their health and well-being benefits and their sound absorbing qualities.
Stephen Dieppe, Managing Director of phs Greenleaf, said: “It’s so encouraging to see more businesses embracing the concept of biophilia in the workplace. Studies have shown that people feel an innate connection to nature and benefit from feelings of enhanced well-being and calm by simply being around them. It gives people a mental health boost which, in turn, can reduce sick days and improve productivity.
“Plants are also natural air purifiers, removing carbon dioxide and pumping out oxygen, so spaces with lots of plants tend to have cleaner, fresher feeling air too, which physically benefits us too.
“You don’t need a large space or a big budget to create something that staff will appreciate and benefit from. The key is choosing the right plants and layout for the space you have. Living walls are an excellent way to introduce the maximum number of plants and the greatest volume of greenery into an area without using up valuable floor space for comfortable seating, and other amenities like a drinks’ fridge or storage for books or blankets, for example.
“If you don’t have a lot of natural light, you’ll need to choose your plants for the wall a little more carefully, selecting ones that still thrive in low light and shadier areas. If there is no light at all, you can look at artificial living walls. Studies have shown that people still mentally benefit from the aesthetics of plants, whether they are real or fake.
“If a living wall does not suit your space, look at different size potted plants, flowers and trees or hanging plants, for that all-important injection of nature.
“Choosing neutral and earth-coloured furniture and furnishings also reinforces the grounding ‘close-to-nature’ aesthetic. Keep in mind that everyone has a different need from a wellness room so keep the space multi-functional. That way, it can be used for everything from meditation, prayer and reading, to a place to recuperate if an employee is feeling unwell or overly stressed.
“It can be hard to think of ways to maximise the space you have. Sometimes it needs some extra creativity and expert advice, so it’s always best to speak to the professionals to ensure you are making the most of the room to ensure it has the desired impact.”
phs Greenleaf has been providing planting and landscaping services to businesses for nearly 30 years, including indoor and outdoor plants, artificial and live planting, living walls, grounds maintenance and Christmas trees and decorations.
Part of the phs Group, phs Greenleaf supplies over 8,000 customers in a range of sectors with high quality horticultural services, including hospitality and leisure venues, retail spaces, public buildings, commercial premises and even Buckingham Palace. phs Greenleaf holds a Royal Warrant – the mark of recognition for those who have supplied goods and services to the royal household for at least five years. Since 2010, phs Greenleaf has held a Royal Warrant for the installation and maintenance of plant displays in Buckingham Palace.
As well as supplying and installing everything from potted plants to live trees, phs Greenleaf’s experienced and knowledgeable team will also conduct regular maintenance visits on site to tend to the plants installed.
phs Greenleaf also supplies more than 2,500 decorated Christmas trees each year to organisations across the country. Its specialist Christmas production team spend most of the year decorating artificial trees in preparation for the festive season, while Greenleaf’s real trees are harvested at a sustainable farm in the Midlands. Each tree is available in a wide range of sizes – from a standard 7ft tree to as high as 30ft tall alongside the 3ft tabletop tree, decorative wreaths, garlands and floral arrangements.