Three giant glass balls that look like just soap bubbles have landed on Earth. “Spheres,” Amazon’s new headquarter in Seattle, is not only beautiful to look at from the outside but also captivates with its inner values: Since January 2018, more than 40,000 plants from 50 countries have been accommodated in the three balls. While one might guess that there may be a botanical garden behind the glass facade, the green dream turns out to be an office of Amazon.
Instead of just looking at bald walls and screens, Amazon’s employees enjoy waterfalls, small streams and leafy walls in their new world of work. So, for the employees under Jeff Bezo’s leadership, it’s good bye to stuffy, germ-rich office air and hello to a dream of green. Is this the working environment of the future?
Increasingly companies want to create space for plants in the workplace. Research has shown that working among greenery increases productivity and the general office mood. However, property prices are high and space in the office is scarce. A new idea has emerged by creating ‘green walls’. Those ‘living walls’ are walls partially or completely covered with greenery with an integrated water delivery system. It provides insulation to keep the office inside temperature consistent and even are vertical gardens conveniently out of the way.
More importantly, a leafy office not only looks great but also has health benefits. The carbon dioxide content in the air is reduced, pollutants are broken down and office plants provide the necessary humidity. “Sick building syndrome,” in particular, can be fought with a green office. These include factors such as dry air, broken air conditioners, lack of air exchange or over-heating. Symptoms such as dry skin, sore eyes and irritated mucous membranes are the order of the day in many people who work in the office.