Greening your office space: a how-to guide

how to green your office space

Ensure your office space is a place where your employees enjoy working, while being eco-friendly.

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to how an office space looks. You want your office space to stand out and embody the values of your company. Using plants and becoming more eco-friendly is a way to achieve both.

As South Africans,  we have always been mindful of including greenery in our indoor spaces, especially offices.  We’re outdoorsy people, used to lots of open space, clear blue skies, and sunshine. It’s natural for us to gravitate towards greenery. Fortunately there are a multitude of clever and creative ways that greenery can be introduced into the office, making the boring, standard pot plants a relic of the past.

Using plants in a unique way

One way to include greenery is to build a growing green wall. The Growing Green Guide defines green walls as modular units “comprised of plants grown in supported vertical systems that are generally attached to an internal or external wall, although in some cases can be freestanding.”

In this blog, American greenwall company, GrowUp Greenwalls, suggests four easy ways to make a great lasting impression in your office reception area. Their first point is to “open up” your reception area by using a greenwall. They say that “Greenwalls carve out space that absorbs sounds, making your reception area more tranquil,” and I couldn’t agree more. 

These days, regular pot plants around the office just don’t cut it anymore when trying to ensure your office is more eco friendly and memorable. 

GrowUp suggests using a green wall as a part of your logo in your main reception area to create a lasting impression on all those who walk in and out of your office space. I think a green wall in reception says, “This company considers workplace wellness, considers the planet, is grounded, fresh, growing and committed!”

There’s nothing worse than fake. Plants must be real. A good office plant company will advise which plants should go into the various office areas. Some plants perform well in light areas and some cope better in darker areas. Leave it to the specialists to advise. We usually give them guidance in terms of the style we’re looking to achieve and then we let the green-thumbed people deal with the specifics.


Downloading our insightful guide to making your office space design the best for your business might be what you need for your next big move or your new, refreshing renovations.

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Eco-friendly tips

Although using solar power isn’t always an option for all businesses, you can still be greener with your lighting by choosing the right bulbs. American lighting company, Everblue, suggests replacing “incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) which use 66% less energy and can last up to 13 times longer.” Ensuring that your employees follow a strict rule of switching off all the lights and electronics is much easier when this is automated. 

Water Cooler Talk suggests installing motion-activated lighting in your office which is a fantastic way to become a more eco-friendly business. This type of lighting is great in boardrooms and meeting rooms where employees often forget to switch off the lights, especially if they are separated from the main office space. Maximising the natural light in your office space is a great way to save on electricity and be more eco-friendly. We suggest incorporating as much natural lighting as possible when designing an office space for good reason. “Natural light sets the body’s circadian rhythms, which control awakening, falling asleep, synthesising vitamin D and digestion,” says Jennifer Walton from  H. Hendy Associates.

The green benefits are endless

Greening your office space isn’t just about making a good impression on clients and other people that come into your business but also has biophilic benefits. Plants like spekboom, an indigenous plant, provide cleaner air and reduce carbon emissions. Adding greenery also reduces office noise and provides a sense of calm by bringing nature indoors.

We like to encourage our clients to include greenery everywhere. We plan greenery into our projects from the very first space planning layout. It’s a non-negotiable for us. Plants help with clean air, acoustics, provide a sense of freshness and well-being,  and make great decorative features. We use all sorts of creative plant features including:

  • wall-mounted
  • counter-top
  • hanging pots
  • standing pots in modern, sustainable, and eye-catching designs

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Jill Munger

Author Jill Munger

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