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The Benefits of Growing Aloe in the Office

The aloe plant has been cultivated for thousands of years and makes for an attractive and easy-to-care-for plant for any office. Recognizable for its medicinal value, aloe requires little care or watering. It’s a great option for employees who want to bring plants into the office, but don’t want to spend time on maintenance. Learn more about the benefits of aloe in the office place.

Growing Aloe in the Office

Aloe is easy to grow indoors as an office plant. If you live in certain climates, you can even grow aloe outside on an office patio, balcony, or outside around the building. The most cost-effective part of growing your own aloe is that you do not need to destroy the plant to use it medicinally—each leaf contains aloe gel. To use it, you just need to cut off a single leaf, leaving the remaining plant to regenerate.

Even better, a healthy aloe plant will propagate its own smaller aloes, which you can separate from the parent plant and re-pot into another vessel. In a few short months, you may have more aloe plants than you know what to do with. These small plants make for a great (and free!) appreciation gift for employees.

It can be easy to over-water aloe. Depending on your climate and humidity, you may need to water an aloe plant as infrequently as once a month. If you feel the top two inches of the soil and they’re still moist, it’s too early to re-water.

The Health Benefits of Aloe

Before you procure an aloe plant, you may have a few questions. What are the benefits of aloe?

Air cleaning

Aloe has the ability to clear the air of harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and other substances found in carpet, cleaning products, and other chemical-laden office items.

Burns

Whether it’s sunburn leftover from a long weekend, or a kitchen burn from the office kitchen, growing your own aloe plant means you will not need to purchase aloe gel from the store to treat burns. Cutting open or squeezing a leaf of the plan expels aloe gel, which can be applied directly to the burn for relief.

Insect repellent

A natural and harmless alternative to DEET and other chemical-based repellents, aloe applied to the skin has the capacity to keep mosquitoes and other pests at bay. The gel creates a moist barrier that repels insects naturally, without chemicals that may cause other health issues and harm the environment. During the summer, keeping an aloe plant on your deck or balcony is the perfect way to have side effect-free repellent at the ready anytime you’re enjoying an outdoor space.

Health Benefits of Aloe at Home

Because aloe propagates dozens of smaller plants in the pot, you may find yourself giving away these smaller plants to employees. At home, aloe has many healing benefits as well:

Psoriasis

Dry skin is a persistent, embarrassing condition. It can also be frustratingly difficult to treat. The soothing properties of aloe gel have been used to treat psoriasis, eczema, and other dry skin conditions. Aloe may be considerably cheaper than expensive creams or prescription lotions, and it can also be used in conjunction with other treatments.

Acne

From soaps to lotions to astringents, acne is a condition that can cost you tons of money. There are dozens–or perhaps even hundreds–of acne treatments on the market. It makes sense that you would want to use a treatment that is gentle and holistic since acne most often occurs on the face. Aloe can be used in concert with your other acne treatments to reduce scarring, moisturize skin, and prevent future breakouts.

 

Dandruff

Instead of buying expensive shampoos, apply aloe after showering to moisturize and calm your itchy scalp naturally. For many people, dandruff is persistent and reoccurs periodically even after you’ve treated it. Treating your scalp with aloe a few times a week can not only take care of the problem, but it can also save you from having to buy expensive, specialized dandruff shampoos.

Aloe has tons of uses, but make sure to consult your doctor before beginning any treatment. It’s important that you monitor your use of any treatment, even if it’s a natural one.

Improve Office Life Through Conceptual Design, Live Elements, and Concessions

Employees spend many of their waking hours at work. The office is like a home away from home, so it is important that employees feel like they are at home while they are there. If you have ever worked in a building that boasts furniture representative of a 1980s sitcom or has decor that is discolored, worn, and tattered, then you know it can lower the morale in the office and make people less productive. When employees are proud of their workspace, they are often times more willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, which translates into better productivity all around. Improve office life, motivate your employees and give them a workspace that feels more like a home with these office life altering tricks and techniques:

Update Office Furnishings

Whether your company is large or small, office facelift funds should be worked into every business budget. Presentation is an important part of the package when you are trying to generate new business and keep your current customers coming back for more. A well kept office space conveys professionalism. Employees and clients alike will feel more comfortable negotiating new deals, coming up with the next big concept, and seeing projects through to completion when they have a clean and contemporary space to work in.

The overall image of your company should be conveyed in the furnishings you select for your office space. If you wish to portray a laid-back atmosphere that fosters creativity and allows your employees to think and work freely, go with bold colors and furniture with interesting patterns and shapes. If your business is designed around helping others, choose natural earth tones and portray a look of warmth and compassion.

Get On-Board with Biophilia

Biophilia is a psychological concept that was first used in 1973 by psychoanalyst Erich Fromm who said that humans have an innate need to connect with the natural world around them, and are attracted to things that are considered to be alive and from nature.

It is a concept that is being incorporated more in shopping malls, office buildings, and other public spaces as nature calms the spirit. To engage employees and make them feel more relaxed in the workplace, incorporate landscape art, live plants, natural colors, fish tanks, water fountains, and other earthy elements.

The Little Things Do Matter

Providing simple concessions like a coffee pot and healthy snacks in the break room are little things that matter a great deal to employees. Small gestures of appreciation show employees you care and will help keep them feeling comfortable while they are at work. According to The Balance Small Business, businesses that provide free snacks and drinks to employees are the ones most likely to get the best employees in the job market.

Other gestures of appreciation you can consider to improve life in the office include giving employees gift cards to their favorite retailers for a job well done, providing a relaxing break area that includes comfortable seating, games, a TV, and some live plants for them to look after, and pumping soothing music through the airwaves to promote deep thought and reflection.

Knock Down the Walls

Open office concepts are in and promote conversation and idea sharing in the workplace. An open office concept invites employees to discuss projects and form partnerships among themselves as well as makes their supervisors more accessible to them. When the walls are knocked down, even a small office suite can take on a vast and expansive new life, letting in much more natural light for everyone to enjoy.

When designing your open office concept, remember to keep the cubicles low and try to incorporate more windows and skylights into the construction plans. If your office building needs to have individual offices for key executives to work from, position the offices so that they are in the middle of the building, allowing for lower level employees to have access to prime window seating.

In today’s job market, employees have choices when it comes to where they work, and sometimes the tipping point all comes down to the physical appearance and ambiance of the office space you provide. Give your office a facelift, let nature in, and provide employees with a few small gifts of gratitude, and you will enjoy seeing their smiling faces as they work hard to make the business boom.

 

Cleaning the Air While Decorating with Indoor Plant Displays

Living indoor plant displays adds a touch of class to a busy office or a bit of warmth to an otherwise sterile waiting room.  Such a display is an element that stylishly ties your décor together. The right indoor plant combinations make a place look finished, ready and put-together while they are useful for cleaning the air. Easy-care, low maintenance Dracaena plants work perfectly in many such situations.

Why Dracaena?

Dracaena is an exceptional and exciting family of plants that exist happily with limited watering and little pruning. Give them a place where the sun provides a few rays or in bright indoor lighting and they flourish. Consider which dracaena plants work with your décor and indoor lighting conditions. This plant family has something for every office condition.

Dracaena thrives under incandescent or supplemental fluorescent lighting if the ideal lighting situation is not available. Temperatures between 65-80 degrees F., those found in most businesses, are perfect for them. There is a variety of beautiful Dracaena from which to choose. Many have a tree form, taking center stage in a grouping near a window or accenting a corner.

We can even add a wall-hanging featuring this air-cleaning specimen. Include them on a table, wall shelf, in container arrangements, or plant a tropical themed garden outside. Our innovative biophilic designs beautify your space as only nature can do.

Improve Work Performance

Employees find a subtle encouragement in working in such an environment. Processes seem to flow more smoothly; interactions are more meaningful and less problematic. Sources say interacting with nature eases stress, lowers blood pressure, and improves one’s frame of mind. The benefits of cleaner air are endless and immeasurable.

Sources suggest that a 10-inch potted plant for each 100 sq ft of your business effectively purifies the air. We do the measurements and calculations to bring your office up to a standard when installing these plants. A few of the most popular Dracaena are listed below:

  • Dracaena marginata Dragon Tree
  • Dracaena fragrans Corn Plant
  • Dracaena Braunii Lucky Bamboo
  • Dracaena Reflexa Song of India
  • Dracaena deremensis Janet Craig

Consider these attractive plants as they can be arranged in your workspace. Don’t forget the positive benefits of this type of upgrade. Happier, healthier, and more productive employees is an achievable goal. Anything to make work roll along smoothly. And looking up the line, this makes work easier to manage for higher level employees.

 Who’s Trying the Indoor Plant Concept?

Giant corporations Google and Microsoft have taken advantage of this new movement to encourage their employees as they include green spaces in their indoor landscapes, according to NBC News. Not to be left behind, Amazon has jumped on the biophilic bandwagon with new domes in Seattle, called the Spheres. The three glass and steel domes house a proverbial forest of more than 40,000 plants. And, Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA features a nine-acre rooftop park, while Microsoft uses treehouses to allow employees to work outside. Apple has a 30-acre park, orchard, and pond for its workers to satisfy their outdoor urge.

You may rely on our experienced team of biophilic designers for a complimentary assessment and to explain the advantages in detail. Our designer meets at your convenience and can advise how to fit the Dracaena family into your offices. Rest assured, our design will work perfectly with your existing space and design.

Perhaps you will choose plant material other than the Dracaena. We offer a wide range of air-cleaning plant choices, something that is compatible with any design. From the front office to the outdoor break room and even the roof, we’ve got you covered.

 

5 Tips For Improving Office Life

All of us want our offices to be productive places, but sometimes it is the design choices we make that limit our own productivity. The conditions people have to work under deeply affect the quality of work that gets done, which is why it’s important to look around, and ask if this is the kind of workspace that’s conducive to progress.

If it isn’t, here are a few simple things you can do to change that.

Tip #1: Shine Some Light On The Issue

There is nothing worse than working in a box under fluorescent lights all the time. One of the simplest ways to improve your office’s atmosphere, according to YFS Magazine, is to increase the amount of natural light that workers are getting. People need natural daylight, and while artificial light will let them see what they’re doing, it can also lead to eye strain, headaches, and general negative feelings. While people aren’t plants, both will perk up a bit if you make sure they get enough time in the sun every day.

Tip #2: Make Your Workers Comfortable

We’ve all seen those copy-and-paste office setups where all the carpets are gray, the walls are white, and every desk is a hard-edged, mass-produced clone. If your office feels more like a classroom, down to the uncomfortable chairs and rigid setup, consider making some changes. As Business News Daily points out, giving workers comfortable chairs, adding splashes of color, and most importantly giving workers options and freedom in how they conduct themselves can all have huge impacts on productivity in the office.

Tip #3: Cut Down On Clutter And Keep Things Clean

A cluttered workspace can feel overly busy and result in a kind of visual “noise” that makes it more difficult for people to focus. Which is why, as Time Doctor suggests, you should keep your workplaces neat, tidy, and streamlined. That means you need to make sure your design doesn’t feel too busy, but it also means you need to regularly vacuum, wipe, and clean everything to prevent buildups of dirt and dust. A clean place to work can do wonders for employee morale. The less cluttered your design is, the easier it is to keep clean.

Tip #4: Include Some Green

There is no denying the positive effects of fresh air, especially considering how hard it can be to get in some office environments. While it might not be possible (or even recommended) to leave the windows open, it is a good idea to include plants in your workplace design. Not only do they add color to your office, but they also produce fresh air, and suck up unwanted pollutants. They will require some additional maintenance and occasional replacement, but the benefits that plants can offer for both comfort and health are impressive.

Tip #5: Open Up Your Space (But Consider Privacy, Too)

Open design has been very chic, and it’s taking companies by storm. However, as The Undercover Recruiter points out, it’s important to consider what open design is supposed to do for your workers. Because the idea is that it opens up communication, and allows people to come and go as they need to. However, it can also affect concentration and cause distractions. Which is why, if you’re going to institute open design in your office space, it’s important to also give workers privacy, and the ability to disengage from the rest of the office in order to concentrate. Carefully consider what your office space’s design is there to accomplish, and then make sure the design you’re implementing will actually be improving office life.

8 Ways To Improve The Office Environment

You and your employees spend the majority of your lives working, right? So it makes sense that you want your office to be as inviting and comfortable as possible. After all, who wants to go to work every day and have to look at a bland office? Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to create comfort and improve the office environment.

Add Art Pieces

By adding art on the walls of various spaces in the office, you add personality to the office. The pieces you choose identify your individual or corporate personality without saying a word. Modern or abstract art shows you are forward thinking and on the cutting edge. More classic pieces evoke comfort and trust. Don’t forget, the subject matter of some pieces can give a nod to your industry.

In addition to using art to reinforce your business’ brand, pieces also warm up the environment by adding color and breaking up the interior landscape.

Add Accessories

As with art, accessories can show off your company’s personality while giving your office environment a more comfortable feeling. Just by adding throw rugs and pillows to a break lounge area, you give employees a place they can enjoy relaxing in. By doing the same in a front office waiting area, you create a space that makes visitors feel welcome. And that’s always good for business.

Be Strategic

While wall art and accessories can contribute a lot to improve the office space, it’s easy to go overboard. That’s when comfortable and cozy becomes clutter – a look you definitely don’t want. The key is being thoughtful about how much to add and where. Remember that less is more.

Light It Up

Lighting is a great way to creatively cozy up your office space. Of course, fluorescent lights are the least expensive option. But you can add other lights in, too. Floor lamps that complement your décor can add another design element to the space, as well as some warmer lighting. Pendant lights add yet another element of visual interest and warmth. Plus, it boosts employees’ hormonal balance, productivity level, and mood. Quite a win, all the way around.

Go With The Flow

If you want to improve the office environment but don’t want to dole out a lot of dollars to do so, there’s a simpler – and less expensive – way. Just rearrange the furniture and accessories. That’s right. All you have to do is move things around. But when you’re planning your new layout, be mindful of how the natural light will affect the new floor plan. You don’t want the afternoon sun hitting wall art and casting an unpleasant glare in your employees’ eyes. You also want the furniture to allow for easy traffic flow.

Say It With Flowers

Research indicates that just by adding plants, flowers, or other natural elements to the office environment can make employees more productive and happy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a vase of real flowers or a container plant is real or fake, it’s all a plus. Pictures of outdoor scenes even work. Just bringing a little of the great outdoors into the office can work a world of wonders.

Provide Healthy Snacks

Remember on “The Middle” when Mike’s employees revolted after he tried to cut pretzels out of the company budget? He ended up keeping them to keep the staff happy. Silly as it seems, there’s truth to that scenario. Just by adding healthy snacks, such as protein bars, fresh fruit, and mixed nuts in the break room, you add an extra level of comfort to your office environment. And it’s little touches that show you care. In return, you have a happier, more productive staff.

Open Up Individual Spaces

While the right layout, furniture, lighting, and accessories go a long way toward making an office space feel livable, don’t forget about individual work desks. The best way to make them look like a million bucks is to simply keep them free of clutter.

When you drive by a house with junk in the yard, your opinion of the homeowner tends to sway to the negative, right? The same is true for a desk with piles of files and stacks of unorganized papers. But an organized desk makes quite the positive statement. Plus, it reduces stress and increases productivity.

It doesn’t take much to improve the office to be a more comfortable and inviting space to work. But with a little thought and creativity, you’ll end up with happy, productive employees.

Biophilic Design for a Better Bottom Line: How Connecting to Nature Improves Employee Performance

In his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv writes that modern-day children are not connecting to nature. Children aren’t allowed to run off on their own and explore for hours at a time. Climbing a tree is banned for being too dangerous, and the siren call of electronic devices pulls on kids’ attention instead. As a result, we are seeing an increase in “nature deficit disorder.” He doesn’t mean this in a medical sense, but in a cultural one. A lack of connecting to nature results in increased anxiety, a sense of unfocused attention, and overall worse outcomes for productivity and satisfaction.

Louv dates the shift from nature-loving childhoods to modern ones quite some time ago. Many of those children he’s talking about are all grown up now and working in modern offices. Children are no longer connecting to nature as they once were. The distance from nature leads to a sense of overall disconnection. It’s harder for people to find their own internal purpose when they don’t recognize their contribution in a larger world.

Luckily, even small doses of nature-infused design principles can reverse some of these negative impacts. Biophilic (nature-loving) designs can boost morale, increase productivity, and create a generally more cooperative workspace. For an added bonus, they are often also beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, too!

Natural Light

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to bring the outdoors indoors is by using natural lighting. Wide, open floor plans that allow light to filter through space will help make it feel inviting and warm. Workers who are exposed to natural light throughout the day sleep better at night, making them more alert and productive when they’re at work.

Inviting Lunch Spaces

Sixty-seven percent of Americans report that they eat lunch at their desks more than once a week. This has profound negative impacts on their overall health and also their productivity. Most people already spend too much time sitting in one place without stretching. a major contributor to chronic back and neck pain. Those who eat lunch at their desks also miss out on the mental break of taking a moment away from their tasks. As a result, they don’t get the benefit of clarity and fresh eyes when they return.

It also decreases key social connections because people are less likely to build relationships with co-workers. Creating inviting lunch spaces that utilize natural settings can help alleviate these problems. Whether it’s an outdoor space with ample seating and plenty of greenery or an indoor atrium with lots of potted plants and natural light, creating an inviting space will get people away from their desks for a moment, increasing the quality of the work they produce when they return.

Nature-Based Decor

Even artificial displays of natural elements have been found to boost overall well-being. Use nature-based decor whenever possible. Landscapes, seascapes, and florals in the form of paintings and photographs are an easy way to bring a bit of the outdoors inside. Consider natural elements when designing floor tiles and carpeting options as well. Lighting that resembles nature is welcoming and much more pleasing than the harsh glow of overhead fluorescents. Nature is always in style, so adding these elements into design plans or renovations helps ensure a long-lasting decor.

In many cases, the disconnect with nature has been such a part of our lives that we don’t even know what we’re missing. Our brains, though, still have a hard-wired positive response to these influences. Getting in touch with nature is a guaranteed way to make the workplace happier and more productive.

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