Scottsdale’s Plant Solutions uses nature to ease workers back to their desks.
Even with Zoom fatigue setting in, employees are feeling uneasy about returning to the office. According to a survey by Morning Consult, only one-fifth of respondents wanted to return full-time to their workplace, and 86 percent said they were satisfied with remote work.
With product demand up and the economy recovering, companies are looking for ways to spur creativity and collaboration among employees while making them feel safe. Scottsdale’s Plant Solutions has seen demand grow for its horticulture-based concepts as offices and restaurants want to create a healthier, more natural environment.
“My mission in life is to connect people with nature,” says company founder Joe Zazzera. “If [nature is] what comforts us, why are we building these buildings with no way out? We want to help comfort people while they’re working.”
Plant Solutions utilizes biophilic design, a concept in the building industry that helps humans connect with their ingrained desire to be outdoors. The company’s inviting north Scottsdale showroom has exquisitely designed installations and sweet-smelling flowers in a space that feels more like an enchanted garden than an office. Its movable foliage walls can be used as dividers to encourage social distancing, direct foot traffic, improve indoor air quality and help everyone feel safe in the office.
“I often ask, ‘Do you want to look at a plastic shield or a moss wall?’” Zazzera says.
According to a 2014 study by the American Psychological Association, when an office integrates biophilic design, it not only improves employee performance, but it makes people feel that management cares about their well-being. Zazzera says installing and maintaining greenery in the workplace is a small expense compared to the money wasted combating frequent absenteeism and low production.
And, let’s face it, experiencing a real garden is better than a Zoom background.