From plants in space stations to plants in the office: The effect of Skogluft plant wall on absenteeism and productivity among employees

Absenteeism and employee productivity are issues that continue to worry companies. In addition, the normalization of hybrid work since the pandemic has led many companies to reconsider the function and layout of the office. So now it’s time to look at how the office can affect employee well-being and performance.

What if someone tells you that you can reduce absenteeism in your business and increase the productivity of your employees through the presence of live indoor plants? “Too good to be true,” I hear you think. But it really is! A Terrapin research report states that by integrating nature into an office space, you can save $ 2,000 per person. employee per year in costs.

Employee well-being

We spend an average of 90% of our lives indoors, which is associated with risks. Lack of plants and natural light indoors increases the risk of physical and mental problems such as burnout by more than 60%. By 2020, 1.2 million Dutch employees had complaints of burnout. At the same time, only a part of Dutch HR decision-makers acknowledge this: 14% of them say that initiatives to promote mental health and well-being of employees are a priority for HR.

Mercers National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health also says that companies that prioritize the well-being of their employees achieve a greater return on investment. This is due to reducing absenteeism, increasing productivity, doubling employee engagement and an 11% reduction in employee turnover.

It is therefore high time to prioritize employee well-being. This can be done, for example, by allocating extra vacation days. In countries like Norway, it is not uncommon to go out and draw in the fresh forest air. But what do you do if you live in a city and you primarily spend your (working) days indoors? Then we just bring nature inside!

Research results

The Norwegian HealthTech upscaling Skogluft makes living plant walls for indoor spaces. However, the company did not just want to bring plants indoors. Skogluft’s plant wall came to life as a result of 30 years of experience, including 10 years of scientific research in collaboration with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Vitenparken Ås University. “The goal of the Skogluft concept is to enable everyone to be the best version of themselves, both physically and mentally”, said Morten Kvam, CEO of Skogluft

The plants that the company uses in its walls help to remove allergens and harmful substances from the air. During the investigation, it was found that the presence of these plants in the office reduced complaints such as cough and fatigue by 37% and 30% respectively and reduced complaints of dry throat and facial skin by 23%. It was striking that the fewest complaints came from employees who had both plants and lamps with artificial daylight in the office. This light enhanced the effect of the plants. Only the addition of artificial daylight (without plants) also resulted in a reduction in complaints, but this effect was not as great as the combination.

Companies with the Skogluft plant wall in their offices experienced a 50% decrease in absenteeism, an average increase of 15% in productivity, and employees reported feeling healthier and more motivated. All of this indicates that bringing nature into your home can significantly improve our quality of life. Among others, Google Norway already uses the Skogluft plant wall. Jan Grønbech, CEO of Google Norway: “As CEO of Google Norway, I fully understand the importance of having a stimulating work environment. I can highly recommend the Skogluft system.”

forest air

Forest air literally means ‘forest air’. The company’s mission is to bring people around the world closer to nature and thereby contribute to humanity’s mental and physical health. “It’s great to see our message embraced by the world. We have an enormous and universal need to connect with nature. ” according to Jørn Viumdal, co-founder of Skogluft

The company is currently developing an app that provides support for caring for the plants through sensor technology. The self-developed Skogluft app provides advice on the right lighting, nutrition and moisture content based on measurements. In addition, the company creates a platform to connect the worldwide Skogluft community. In this way, people can inspire each other, network with each other and exchange knowledge with each other.

Together with the app, the newly launched Skogluft Academy enables the global Skogluft community to network and exchange knowledge. The Forest Air Academy program is available worldwide, and upon completion, participants can call themselves “Certified Forest Air Indoor Nature Consultants.” “Skogluft’s dream is to radically change the indoor environments we live and work in, with the help of a community of focused and driven indoor nature consultants and ambassadors around the world,” said Kat Novotna, head of Skogluft Academy

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