Desks just want to have fern

When our Creative Director, James, attended Bristol Media’s Vision event in November of last year, he came away with many a juicy thought-morsel. Among the juicier, however, was one that had almost nothing to do with creativity, design, or indeed vision.

It was simple: plants increase productivity.

According to speaker John Grant, author of Better (‘from beanbags to mindfulness; how wellbeing is making business more human friendly’), the presence of leaves, or even just scenic imagery, can increase office productivity by up to 15 percent. On top of which, personalisation of a workspace can pop a further 30 percent productivity increase on that new total.

Now, I have recently changed role at Harleys. At the end of 2017 I moved from my role as Head of Content, working with the writers in our studio building, to working with the recently-formed Content & Marketing Strategy team in our HQ building, as Content Strategy Manager.

As I weigh up my new responsibilities, the insight freshly gathered by James from the WEDF talk makes it clear which one I must prioritise: personalising the heck out of my working space.

I mean, think of the unique opportunity I have! If I get enough green in my face, I’ll become 15 percent more productive. Coupled with the further 30 percent personalisation bonus, that adds up to a whopping (115 percent * 1.3 =) 149.5 percent of my current productivity! And let’s just ignore that this also means I’ve been functioning at 66.89 percent of my potential productivity this whole time (#maths).

This boost will come in especially handy in the Content & Marketing Strategy team. As a thriving team of content specialists, our job is to identify overall project objectives, advise clients of the best way to achieve them, then provide creative direction to the project teams to make sure we deliver on the far-reaching and ambitious brief we’ve accidentally set ourselves.

Exactly the type of environment where every little bit of extra brain juice goes a long way.

So, take a look around your office. Is it blossoming, or barren? Are your colleagues tapdancing through the day, or trudging towards home time? And if the latter, how much of that is down to doomed attempts to kick coffee? Maybe a fresh burst of foliage could take the edge off?

Just make sure to choose the right chlorophyll companions for your desktop Jumanji, as there are some plants that offer greater productivity and health benefits than others, such as aloe vera, peace lilies, air plants and even ivy (avoid the poison kind).

But there’s no reason you should take my word for it, so it’s with great pleasure I will hand over to the Times of India.

Happy New Year, and happy deskscaping!