Good Earth Plant Company’s Top Ten Workplace Design Trends to Watch for 2017

Posted on Dec 29, 2016
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With just a few days left of 2016, Good Earth Plants has its attention focused on what’s to come for 2017. Here are our top ten predictions on workplace design trends for the next 12 months.

Good Earth Plant Company installed this moss wall at the Bluebeam software company in Pasadena, California, covering three of our hot design trends: moss walls, the WELL building standard, and the color green.

Good Earth Plant Company installed this moss wall at the Bluebeam software company in Pasadena, California, covering three of our hot design trends: moss walls, the WELL building standard, and the color green.

Moss Wall Art: Preserved moss walls took our industry by storm in 2016, and there is no sign of it letting up. Look for even more creativity and innovation in these projects. We are incorporating new and different types of mosses and integrating additional materials including elements like driftwood, pods, shells and glass. There is no limit to the possibilities. We are even exploring living moss walls into very limited projects. Twelve months from now, I predict you will be amazed by what we were able to create.

Amenity Roofs: Eco-style green roofs are wonderful for the environment, but they are not really built for people to use them. Developers and architects are beginning to realize roof space is extremely valuable, and typically it’s been unaddressed and wasted. New and renovated residential and commercial buildings will make use of this space in more ways in 2017.  Apartment buildings can offer recreational space with roof top decks and patios that are kid safe and include barbecues and outdoor kitchens, seating, and gardens. The Alpha Project building in downtown San Diego even offers a rooftop amenity space for its previously homeless residents and their pets. We love their thinking!

Rendering of the Amazon headquarters "biospheres" under construction in Seattle. Photo Courtesy NBBJ

Rendering of the Amazon headquarters “biospheres” under construction in Seattle. Rendering Courtesy NBBJ

Biophilic Design: Interest in biophilic design by top management in business and among the architectural community will continue to be a hot topic of conversation. This is a way of thinking beyond LEED. LEED is great, but it’s more about operational decisions, and not all that much about people. Bosses are starting to get it.  Which leads me to…

WELL Building Standard: Consider the WELL Building Standard the “next generation” in design guidelines. It is the first to focus on building features that affect health and well-being. More professionals are adopting this standard as they begin to understand even the most beautiful buildings are useless if they aren’t welcoming places that help people be productive and healthy.

Workers are increasingly starting to take workspace design into account when making a decision whether to accept a new job.

Workers are increasingly starting to take workspace design into account when making a decision whether to accept a new job.

Employee Choices in Workplace Design: With the job market improving, people have more choice in where they work, and they are getting pickier about their working conditions. In a recent survey by HumanSpaces.com, one-third of all workers say that office design may impact their decision as to whether or not to accept a job offer at all. Ten years ago, it was just 22 percent – that’s a 50 percent increase.  People are speaking up and the boss is listening.

Increased Attention on Interior Plantscaping: One of the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve the workplace environment is adding plants. Not every office can break through walls and add windows, or redesign an open office layout. But it CAN add plants, or at least natural elements like the moss walls that are so hot right now. It’s amazing to me with all we know about the positive effects of plants in the workplace, 58 percent of Americans work in an office with no plants at all. None! Not even a desktop succulent! This is a no-brainer. Let’s get that number under 50 percent.

Planters Gone Wild: Forget the typical plant containers we’ve been looking at for years. In 2017, decorative plant containers will be made of unusual materials, in wild new shapes and amazing colors and finishes. Plants in these containers will be the accent, not the focus. Look for new and unusual top dressing (tumbled glass) as well. They won’t be for everyone, but if you want to make a statement, you’ll be heard loud and clear.

The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 will lead the wave of popularity for all shades of green in 2017.

The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 will lead the wave of popularity for all shades of green in 2017.

Green in ’17: We expect to see a lot of the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year, which is “Greenery,” a fresh yellow-green. I also expect nearly every other shade of green to become popular too, from pale mint green to a deep emerald green and everything in between. There is a green for everyone’s taste.

Impact of Prop 64 on California business: California voters approved the legal use of recreational marijuana. Although it’s not going to be commercially viable for a while, this industry will emerge from the shadows and it’s going to have an impact on the way many businesses operate. No, employees won’t be taking weed breaks instead of coffee breaks. But this is an industry exceptionally attuned to the integration of nature into profit making ventures, and many other business sectors can learn by the legal marijuana industry’s example of looking to nature for inspiration, answers and profit.

Plants communicating with people? Why not!

Plants communicating with people? Why not!

Plants Communicate with People: We wrote earlier in 2016 about a company working on ways to allow plants to communicate with people by interpreting their electrical signals.  I predict we’ll find ways for plants to alert us by switching on a light or setting off an alarm if they are dry and need watering, or if they are being attacked by pests. Hey, I have to make at least one really bold prediction to make it fun!

Everyone is right about their predictions in December 2016. Bookmark this blog post, and remind yourself to come back in a year and see if I’m right.

Do you have predictions of your own? Share them on our Good Earth Plant Company Facebook page.