5 Benefits Of Plants In The Office & 5 Ideas For How To Add Them

One of the many services Quills provide is interior design solutions; this means that we like to keep up to date on office design trends. For the past few years, we’ve seen people introducing new life to workplace design. Today, we’re going to be discussing the benefits of plants in the office – and why your office needs them!

Benefits Of Adding Plants To Your Office

Aside from aesthetic value, adding plants to your workplace has legitimate benefits for the office and your employees. There are a variety of positive changes introducing plants into the office studies have shown.

We’re going to share some of the key reasons we recommend introducing plants to your office space . . . and then some suggestions for how to work them in.

1. Increase Employee Productivity

Having plants in the office positively impacts employee’s productivity.

In 2014, Dr. Christ Knight, a psychologist from the University of Exeter, teamed up with academics from four universities in Australia, the UK and the Netherlands to conduct a series of studies in which employee productivity was tracked in offices before, during and after the introduction of plants.

The studies were conducted over two months and the findings were that employees’ productivity improved by an average of 15% in green offices.

Interestingly, being able to see plants didn’t just increase overall productivity – it also increased memory retention and attention span. In the study, there was one plant per square metre of the office; each employee had at least one plant in their eyeline.

In an office, productivity is one of the most important factors. If such a simple change can have such a big improvement on an office’s productivity, your office should definitely have plants.

Suggestion for office design: Add a small plant to each employee desk

There’s a simple way to ensure that your employees always have a plant in sight – place a small one on their desk. Here at Quills, we have a variety of small plant pots perfect for perching on the edge of a desk.

Image

Biodegradable Plant Pots With Petunia Seeds – Maximum price £1.91 each.

Image

Mr. Ceramic Plant Pot – Maximum price £2.71 each.

Image

Desktop Garden In A Tube – Maximum price £4.38.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are just a few examples of the planters we have to offer.

2. Increased Health + Lower Absence

Having an office with plants has numerous links to increasing employees’ health, in turn lowering their absences from work. A Norwegian study showed that office workers with plants showed significant improvements in certain areas of health.

  • Neuropsychological symptoms were reduced by 23% when plants were present. Fatigue reduced the most – by 30%
  • Mucous membrane symptoms were reduced by 24% overall when plants were present. Cough decreased by 37% and dry throat by 25%
  • Dry or flushed skin was reduced by 23% with plants in the workspace – Source

Healthy employees are hard working employees. If one of the benefits of plants in the office is better health . . . why wouldn’t you want to introduce them?

Suggestion for office design: Have an indoor tree in your office

If you don’t want to add clutter to your employees’ desks, you could try having one indoor tree for the entire office. Not only is this an easy option, indoor trees are often very low maintenance!

3. Cleaner Breathing Air

Did you know that indoor air pollution has been ranked as one of the top five environmental risks to public health?

Pollutants originate from a variety of things – even indoor items such as furniture, clothing, cleaning products and more – and build up inside air. Most offices aren’t the most well-ventilated of buildings, which causes the air to become stagnant and so it’s even easier for pollution to build up.

Dirty air directly impacts your employee’s health – in fact, it can even cause sick building syndrome, which is something that can completely destroy your employees’ productivity.

There’s a relatively simple solution: plants.

Remember those high school science lessons? Plants absorb our dirty air and, through photosynthesis, effectively cleanse it, releasing clean oxygen.

Therefore, one of the benefits of plants in the office is that plants improve your workplace’s air quality – helping your office remain healthy and productive. Yet another fantastic reason your office should have plants!

Suggestion for office design: Living Logo

LIVING LOGO FROM EXAPRINT-1Some businesses take their branding to the next level by bringing their logo quite literally to life!

Living logos are a creative way of adding plants to your office that give you all the benefits of plants, whilst simultaneously allowing you to strengthen your brand presence and office environment at the same time.

Plant-logos are a wonderfully unique and creative addition to your office. If you are interested in creating a living logo for your office, we can help you.

Plus, our living logos require absolutely no aftercare – no water, no soil and no light. They’re quirky and convenient!

Feel free to contact us for information about pricing and installation.

4. Better Working Environment

Adding plants to an office just overall improves the office’s environment. Plants are visually appealing; studies have shown that office workers feel far more satisfied when they have a view that overlooks vegetation as opposed to another building or road.

While worrying about the aesthetic value of your office may seem pointless, marketing research has proven that up to 80% of how we perceive and experience situations is based on our visual environment. Logically, we can all agree that our mood is surroundings somewhat dictate our mood. Clutter can create feelings of disorganisation or stress; open spaces can feel calming.

Because of the strong impact design has on mood, spending a little time focusing on the environment your employees are working in makes sense.

Suggestion for office design: Terrariums

Terrariums are an easy and unobtrusive way to add plants to the office, but they’re a little more interesting than your typical plant pot.

Terrariums are contained in a small glass plant pot, holding multiple types of indoor plants. This creates a far more unique display than your average cactus on a desk.

5. Reduces Stress & Increase Employee Happiness

While having plants in the office is proven to improve employee health, one of the other benefits of plants in the office is just as important: employee contentment. Workplaces that make use of plants have been proven to not only improve employee’s happiness, but also to decrease stress.

A study conducted in 2010 by the New University of Technology Sydney found that office spaces featuring plants had significant decreases in negative emotions and stress levels.

  • Tension/Anxiety – 37% reduction
  • Depression/Dejection – 58% reduction
  • Anger/Hostility – 44% reduction
  • Fatigue – 38% reduction

Suggestion for office design: Living WallImage result for living wall

Another unique idea for incorporating plants into your office’s decor is the living wall. This is essentially a vertical garden where flowers grow out of the wall instead of the ground.

These come in a variety of sizes – from the size of an actual wall to the size of a small canvas, so you can seamlessly insert it into your office’s existing decoration scheme.  Related image

If an entire vertical garden isn’t feasible for your office, you could take a more minimalist approach to the living wall. We personally love how understated this shelving unit acting as a living wall looks; it’s not too overpowering, but has the same effect of adding life to the space.

Here at Quills, we offer a multitude of storage options – some of which would be perfect for creating your own minimal living wall.

Hopefully, this post inspired you to try adding some plants to your office.

If you are trying to improve your office or incorporate some of the suggestions we’ve mentioned above, don’t hesitate to contact us and send through an enquiry.

Call: 0845 078 0324   Email: sales@quillsuk.co.uk   Live chat: www.quillsuk.co.uk

 

GDPR – How To Keep Your Office Compliant

What you need to know about the GDPR

What is the GDPR ?

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a new data protection regulation that came to pass on 14th April 2016. The legislation has been undergoing a 2 year transition and implementation period throughout Europe.

It is coming firmly into force on 25th May 2018, replacing the current Data Protection Directive. After this time, any businesses found non-compliant with the new regulations may be subject to fines.

One of the largest things to change is how you collect data.

Under Article 6 of the European Union’s GDPR, you must ensure that you have lawful grounds to process personal data.

The regulations define the six legal grounds for processing personal data as:

  1. Consent given freely and unambiguously by the data subject
  2. Processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party
  3. Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation of the data controller
  4. Processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject
  5. Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest
  6. Processing is necessary for the purpose of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller or third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or rights and freedoms of the data subjects

Organisations need to know on what ground(s) they are processing personal data and they need to maintain relevant documentation on processing activities.

What fine will businesses face if they breach the GDPR?

The penalties for breaching the GDPR are fines; at present, the highest fine is €20 million, or up to 4% of the company’s annual turnover, whichever is highest. However, these fines are only applicable for extreme cases and serious breaches.

The fine system works in a tiered format, so smaller breaches will not be subject to the same penalties. Even so, the fines are still far steeper in the new GDPR than they have been previously.

What’s the difference between the GDPR and the previous legislation?

Both the GDPR and Data Protection Directive are applicable to Europe as a whole, not just within the UK. The main difference between the General Data Protection Regulation and the previous Data Protection Directive is mainly in the nature of legislation.

A directive is an act of legislation aimed at designating a goal to work towards, wherein each country subject to the directive has to work towards this aim, but is free to do so how they decide.

A regulation, however, is an act of legislation that is binding across all of Europe and must be followed fully by all countries within its domain. If your company collects personal information from within the EU, even if it operates outside the EU, all devices that access said data need to comply and be secure. 

What NEW things does a business need to do to be compliant with the new GDPR?

  1. You must document your compliance – the more detail the better. The new regulations have increased importance placed on maintaining improved documentation about compliance. Businesses must now conduct audits, risk assessments, report breaches and, every time a new device connects to your network, it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s operating in line with all of your policies.
  2. Businesses must report any breaches within 72 hours.
  3. Be aware of what now defines personal data. As the scope of what is considered personal data has been widened so significantly, your business needs to get up to date on what data is considered personal as it may not have been treating it as such previously.

What is now considered personal data?

One of the largest differences the GDPR is introducing is the increase of what is considered personal data. This makes a lot of sense in the context of our ever-increasingly connected world; identifying people on the internet has never been so easy.

Here are a few of the new inclusions for what you should now consider personal data:

  • Economic information
  • Cultural details
  • Mental health information
  • ‘Pseudonymised’ data (such as social media usernames or other online personas) – providing it’s easily identifiable

Most businesses will be processing personal data . . . so being up to date on the GDPR requirements and compliancy is essential.

How can we help you prepare for the GDPR?

Whilst GDPR remains the organisations responsibility, there are some things that we can do to help you ensure you’re on track to be compliant by May 25th. While you may think of your PC and virtual files when you consider data, there is a lot contained in the office too. Let’s talk about a few ways to keep that data compliant.

MPS (Managed Print Services)

You may not have previously considered printers to be a potential area of risk for a data leak, but they’re vulnerable for multiple reasons:

  • They contain physical data. Printed documents often contain data – how is this being protected? Who has access to it? Is it compliant?
  • The new GDPR requires you to demonstrate how you are compliant; a good example of this being documentation. Most employees don’t necessarily think about what they’re printing, if it’s personal data – and whether it’s a breach of the GDPR – let alone document how their printing habits are safe.
  • Printers can be a weak spot for hackers to exploit.

Moving forwards, your print services need a secure strategy and set up; our Managed Print Services can help by offering a audit and recommendations to be GDPR compliant.

Quills Secure Software

Quills offer a Managed Print Service specially developed for security – Quills Secure Software. The software provides a variety of features that will not only ensure your printers are secure, but entirely GDPR compliant. We highly recommend that customers of ours utilise this new service we are able to provide.

Some of the features include:

  • Digital Signatures and Watermarking
  • Simple tool reporting all information about a user
  • Secure print release
  • Erasing past users
  • And more!

If you would like further information about our Quills Secure Software, read here.

Shredding and Archiving

Another crucial aspect of your office’s approach to data is how to safely store and destroy it. At Quills, we offer both destruction and archiving solutions, so feel free to contact us to help ensure your office is being compliant with data from collection to destruction.

Shredding

Although a somewhat old-fashioned approach, shredding is still an incredibly effective way to securely dispose of data and remain GDPR compliant.

Non-shredded documents are readable by anyone that finds it. Such easily accessible data poses a security threat in many ways – employees can easily see documents they aren’t meant to and, if that isn’t worrying enough, so could visitors to your office.  Print documents can be easily accessible by the wrong people.

Through destroying the physical data, shredding ensures that data is incomprehensible and not seen by a third party.  However, there’s more to it than just running your documents through a shredder.

How We Can Help Your Data Destruction Keep GDPR Compliant
  • Cross-cut shredding. There are multiple types of shredding – some more secure than others. At Quills, we offer highly secure cross-cut shredders instead of the standard strip-cut. We ensure we shred your paper between 15mm to 4mm cross cut in accordance to BSIA standards.
  • Certificate of destruction. A large part of being GDPR compliant is documenting the steps you’re taking to protect data so ensure you receive your certificate of destruction for your records.
  • Reputable and trustworthy.  ISO9001 accredited and a member of the BSIA (British Security Industry Association) and NAID Europe (National Association for Information Destruction).
  • We dispose of the paper at recycling plants. As well as making sure we’re destroying your data securely, Quills can help your business stay environmentally friendly by recycling your waste.
  • Option for on-site shredding. If your business prefers to see their data shredded on-site, but doesn’t have the resources, we can accommodate you. We provide mobile shredding trucks that can securely destroy data on site.
  • Of course, this is all completely confidential. Needless to say, we operate with the utmost professionalism and adhere to European standard EN15713.

Archiving

Data destruction is not always necessary, so the next issue to consider is keeping data you’re storing GDPR compliant.

Quills are partners with the largest privately owned Records Management company in the UK, so we can provide an extensive list of services and a complete solution for any data you need archiving. For more information about our archiving solutions, feel free to take a look at our archiving service list.

If your office is preparing the upcoming GDPR policy changes and would like some assistance within the areas of shredding, archiving or your print fleet, feel free to contact us:

Call: 0845 078 0324   Email: sales@quillsuk.co.uk   Live chat: www.quillsuk.co.uk

Living Logo