Plants & the Home Office: Why and How to Green Up Your Work From Home Office Space // #plantywfh, ep 113

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By Maria Failla, Maria Failla- Plant Lady, Host of Bloom, and Grow Radio. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

So we have said goodbye to 2020 and all of the insanity that came with it, but there is something we haven’t said goodbye to: working from home. Many companies have pledged to work from home well into 2021, leaving us sitting in our sweatpants, computer monitors and weird makeshift home offices with reluctant acceptance. People are spending more time than EVER indoors and at their screens, and that’s why it’s never been MORE important to have plants not only in our homes, but in our work from home office set ups.

Since WFH isn't going anywhere, in 2021, I'm choosing to reframe it from a frustration to an opportunity. An opportunity to have complete control over our WFH environment and create our desk space oasis to look exactly like we want it.

Today’s episode is all about the why and how behind bringing plants into our workspaces, whether you are still working from home or are back in your office. Cobbling together a work from home set up was STRESSFUL in 2020, in our old apartment I had a desk that folded up into the wall, so I couldn’t even decorate and settle in the way I wanted. But now, as we turn the page to 2021, let’s shake things up create some stress free and joyful moments in our lives! For me the solution here has been plants and something that blew me away recently is how many people in our community are going HAM on their workspaces with plants. I posted my planty wfh set up on IG in December, asking if anyone else created a jungle oasis at their desk the way I did in 2020, and SO many of you sent pictures of your amazing planty home office set ups, and asked for help and ideas for how to set up your own. So this episode is for you plant friends, inspired by you and members of our community, and I hope everyone walks away from this episode with one idea to incorporate a little more green into their daily workflow.

I’ve broken this episode into two sections: the WHY where we dive into the reasons why having plants are so important in our space and talk a little about biophilic design and then part two the HOW. I share ideas inspired from the WHY section, break down the ways I incorporated plants and biophilic design into my home office and then review some photos listeners sent in and hope their setups might inspire you as well.

Get the free download with 9 Tips for Greening Up Your Work From Home Office Space

In the episode we learn:
  • [02:07] Why Bloom and Grow Radio is doing an episode on #plantywfh spaces
  • [04:39] Check out Maria’s Planty WFH space tour
  • [05:03] What to expect from this episode on work from home setups and biophilic design
  • [06:50] The AMAZING and unbelievable benefits of engaging with plants and biophilic design, according to 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design
  • [07:27] What is biophilia, the idea behind it, and the important figures behind this wonderful hypothesis
  • [09:24] The psychological role of plants in our creativity
  • [10:09] How being around nature and scenery affects patient recovery, as studied by Dr. Ulrich in 1972 to 1981
  • [11:13] A review of direct versus involuntary attention based on studies by Stephen R. Kellert and Rachel Kaplan
  • [13:41] Biophilic Pattern #1: Visual Connection with Nature
  • [13:54] Planty WFH Tip #1: Put your desk near a window
  • [14:15] Planty WFH Tip #2: Put plants within the eyeline of your desk
  • [14:33] Planty WFH Tip #3: Have a green wall in your office
  • [14:56] Planty WFH Tip #4: If you can’t have real plants, pictures of plants will do!
  • [15:09] Biophilic Pattern #2: Non-Visual Connection with Nature
  • [15:26] Planty WFH Tip #5: Play nature sounds like the one-square inch forest silence in the Olympic National Park, bird songs, or waves
  • [16:36] Planty WFH Tip #6: Have different plant scents nearby, or you can use a diffuser like Maria!)
  • [16:53] Biophilic Pattern #3: Non-Rhythmic Sensory Stimuli
  • [17:09] Planty WFH Tip #7: Set up bird feeders or pollinator-attracting plants, or take care of rare-blooming plants for a nice surprise
  • [17:39] Biophilic Pattern #4: Thermal and Air Flow Variability
  • [17:59] Biophilic Pattern #5: Presence of Water
  • [18:07] Planty WFH Tip #8: It’s your humidifier’s time to shine! Maybe a tiny fancy plug-in fountain?
  • [18:40] Biophilic Pattern #6: Dynamic and Diffuse Light
  • [18:52] Planty WFH Tip #9: Install a grow light with a timer, and have a more sustainable work hours setup!
  • [19:12] Planty WFH Tip #10: Reduce your blue light intake and light candles after a long day of work
  • [19:33] Biophilic Pattern #7: Connection with Natural Systems
  • [19:47] Biophilic Pattern #8: Biomorphic Forms and Patterns
  • [19:56] Did you know there are interesting and precise angles in nature?
  • [20:35] Biophilic Pattern #9: Material Connection with Nature
  • [21:07] Planty WFH Tip #11: Add accents in your home office like wood grains, fossil textures, and bamboo rattans
  • [21:30] Planty WFH Tip #12: Try a natural color palette of greens and browns
  • [21:50] How Maria and Billy managed their storage during their move
  • [24:52] Biophilic Pattern #10: Prospect
  • [25:04] Why it’s important to change the focus of your eyes every once in a while
  • [25:18] Biophilic Pattern #11: Refuge
  • [25:19] Why Maria recommends a planty screen-free space
  • [26:10] Biophilic Patterns #12: Mystery and #13: Risk and Peril
  • [26:20] The biggest rule of thumb of biophilic designs for Maria
  • [27:06] If you can’t have real plants, download the Bloom and Grow Radio’s free and gorgeous watercolor of prickly pear cactus in various states of bloom!
  • [28:03] Planty WFH Tip #13: Envelop your space in plants (if you can!)
  • [28:32] Maria’s planty WFH tips and ideas based on her own WFH setup
  • [30:04] The best plants for low-light home offices
  • [31:13] Are you blessed with a high-light office situation? Maria recommends these plants that love abundant light
  • [31:36] Planty WFH Tip #14: Install grow lights to incorporate more plants
  • [32:44] Planty WFH Tip #15: Tiny space? Go vertical!
  • [34:21] Maria’s biggest takeaways from 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design and her top advice on #plantyWFH setups
  • [36:26] Finding joy and awe in your #plantyWFH as a small break from your work day
Mentioned Resources in today's episode Thank you to our episode sponsor:

Makespace makes storage simple, seamless and affordable without you EVER having to leave your apartment. They pick up, store and return your stuff and provide the packing materials! To learn more, visit makespace.com and use code SPACEPLZ for $100 off!

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129 episodes