Going Back to the Office? 4 Tips to Make Your Workspace Greener and Healthier

Does your workspace make you feel tired or worn down? Or maybe your office reeks of air freshener and cleaning solvents; it’s almost intoxicating that you cannot think straight. Have you ever wished you can work in those Pinterest- or Insta-worthy spaces instead of the old, dreary cubicle you see day in and day out?

These are signs that your workspace needs a facelift—a green facelift, in fact.

Here are four tips on how to shake up your workplace and turn it into your personal spa area:

Add air-purifying indoor plants

Plants are a must-have for ANY enclosed space. The color frequency of green allows your eyes to rest. It makes for a soothing sight after a whole day of staring in front of the screen. Studies have also shown that having plants in your workplace lessens work-related stress and helps clean out the air by increasing your oxygen source.

The snake plant is a good choice for an indoor air-purifying plant because it’s easy to take care of and non-obtrusive in an enclosed space. Another popular choice for offices is the fig plant. With its glossy rounded leaves, the fig plant can also be used as a good prop for those impromptu office photo shoots. For a quick backdrop, set it against a white wall or a large window and add a wooden shelf with a few books of your choice for a personal touch.

Use cartons instead of plastic to lessen the clutter

Let’s face it: neutral colors will never go out of style. They are easy on the eye and will always be a classic palette for any interior design inspiration. To achieve the au naturel look for your workspace, substitute plastic containers with carton boxes to organize knickknacks and loose sheets of paper. Carton boxes are ubiquitous as they are lagom-chic and are easy to personalize. Look for those big brown boxes that do not have any labels on them, so you can easily decorate to your taste. ; Or opt for white for that clean, minimalist look you can pair with anything.  The trick to remember here is to keep your color swatches well within the earth tones for an easy, organized feel.

Use environment-friendly compounds for cleaning and sanitizing

cleaning spray

If you’ve ever wondered why there are areas in your office that suddenly make you feel light-headed, it could be the cleaning agents your company cleaners are using. Too much formaldehyde-laden chemicals can cause dizziness, nausea, and headaches and are harmful to your health.

To regulate the kinds of chemicals that go into the air you breathe, you can ask your professional cleaning service provider to use environment-friendly solvents to lessen toxin intake through inhalation. A vinegar-water solution doused with a few drops of peppermint and citronella oil will not only make your workplace smell like a spa, but it is also a good deterrent for roaches and mosquitoes. Another popular choice is a citrus combination of pomelo, lemon, and orange for a good perk-me-up during those post-lunch hours. Experiment with different scents depending on the mood you want to create for your workplace.

Have an eat-healthy workday at least once a week.

To have a truly green workplace for your employees or co-workers, diet and nutrition are also important. Try adding healthy choices such as tuna on rye, fruit, and freshly-squeezed juices to your usual company brewed coffee and pantry items of chocolate chip cookies, salted potato chips, and Oreos. Make easy-to-munch snacks like carrot and celery sticks a staple in your company cafeteria and ask your HR to request from your concessionaire if they can add a salad bar to their menu.

Another option is to have a once-a-week vegan potluck workday. Encourage your co-workers to bring their vegan lunch for sharing or assign someone to bring a giant tub of bean dip or hummus and have everybody else bring their choice of crudites for lunch and snacks.

Creating a green office space for your employees or co-workers brings more than just aesthetic value. There are economic and health benefits to it, as well. When you turn your workplace into a green zone, you are helping to literally breathe life into it. Employees or co-workers will be able to focus better and make the most of their hours. A green workplace also means increased productivity and fewer chances of absenteeism—it will help the people in your company churn out more output, and they will be more enthusiastic about going to work. Start with the simple tips mentioned above, and your co-workers or employees will thank you for it.

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