Sourced from the Living Architecture Monitor
As the labor market tightens, companies continue to develop new and innovative ways to attract top talent. Two major tools are branding, the values and aesthetics that set companies apart, and employee experience, the day-to-day amenities and aesthetics of the workplace. Interior designers for some companies are adopting a solution that boosts workplace allure on both counts and energizes spaces: living green walls.
Attracting Millennial Employees with Green Branding
Many companies are updating branding and experience to satisfy the tastes of digitally savvy Millennial professionals. So, are there any discernible trends in the generation’s preferences? According to a National Gardening survey, 5 of every 6 Americans to take up gardening in a year were between 18 and 34 years old (NGS, 2016). When making purchasing decisions, nearly three-out-of-four Millennials are most willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings (Nielson Global Survey, 2016). Seventy-six percent of Millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments before deciding where to work (Global Furniture Group, 2019). In a word, Millennial taste is green.
So, interior designers and architects for major companies are installing sustainable design elements in high-profile locations at their properties. An article in the New York Times described the recent real estate upgrade by footwear and apparel company ASICS in an attempt to attract and retain the best shoe designers. In the employee break bar at a new downtown Boston location, a Versa Wall® designed by GSky Plant Systems, Inc. sports the company’s logo. GSky’s unique tray system sets individual four-inch pots in the wall so plants of different shades can create the curving lines of a signature figure most commonly seen on sneakers (Prevost, 2019). These plants can later be swapped out to change the design and add a seasonal look to the wall. For other companies, the medium of the living wall conveys much of the message with a more naturalistic design. The National Geographic Society—a brand inextricably linked to the outdoors— greets visitors to their Washington, D.C. headquarters with a more straight-forward living green wall.