Outside In: A Greener Way to Work

Nature has the power to heal, re-charge, restore, and bring a sense of calm to the weary. Because of this inexplicable power of the natural world, many of us are drawn to outdoor pursuits with which we fill our limited down time in order to reset for the coming challenges. Unfortunately "down time" is almost non-existent and even more limited with the present challenges of working through a Pandemic, as even the safe space of home becomes a 24-7 office.

But what can we do, how do we find time to reconnect to the greenery? How bout bring it to work with you! While I may be a conservationist and climate resiliency advocate by trade and passion, I don't really consider myself adept at in-door plant keeping. I often overlook plant care in my desire to focus solely on the outside world, but that blinds me to other wonderful opportunities.

Take the green wall for example. Great for buildings and outdoor rooftop bars, but inside? Would it work? The answer is a resounding yes, and this approach to bring the outside in is ticking a lot of boxes in the conservation field and is improving collaborative work spaces around Auckland. Green walls can be built using a planter box on wheels with a rigid lattice structure to form the wall. It can then be planted with beautiful vines, rooted into the soil-filled boxes, and air plants like bromeliads can be placed or wired to the lattice for additional color and texture. The result is a truly transformational piece of living infrastructure and art. These features are also powerful educational tools and can illustrate the value of biodiversity, soil health, and stormwater management in battling the effects of climate change.

These mobile structures can be relocated anywhere in the office to create impromptu, serene meeting spaces. While it cannot match all the functions of a traditional wall, like soundproofing, it is an elegant solution to many office place issues. How do you create a work space that encourages thoughtful creativity, provides a calming and nurturing atmosphere, and allows for ready made private working spaces when needed? Answer, bring the outside in with a mobile green wall! So next time your office is in need of a face lift why not consider one of these clever pieces of living infrastructure.

Keep on Keeping on,

Adam Schellhammer

Thirsty Conservationist and Tree Fam member

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