Plants have an amazing impact on worker happiness a healthy workplace. Apart from improving air quality, they've been proven to increase productivity by up to 15% and help reduce stress and anxiety by up to 35%.
But plants die. It's also pretty expensive to hire someone to take care of what your employees perceive as a glorified piece of furniture. So we made GROOT.
What it does
GROOT suggests plants that are well suited for your specific workspace. It finds an owner for the plants, which they notify when they need to be maintained. It allows your employees to really take control of their environment, form a bond with their workspace, and ultimately end up happier and more engaged.
Best of all, this happens through natural language discussions through your favorite team messaging platform: Slack! (Almost) No forms to fill. Never boring.
How we built it
We've built GROOT on the proven Django/Python web stack. It's deployed on cloud VMs, making horizontal scaling as easy as 1-2-3.
Challenges we ran into
It turns out plant care is one of the few remaining things that don't have an API in 2016. We've had to manually gather, curate, and organize a bunch of data from disparate sources to populate GROOT with valuable information.
A team of 4 developers doesn't make for easy design, UX, or marketing. We definitely dabbled outside our comfort zone!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
GROOT is awesome and super easy to use. We're genuinely confident that it has the potential to increase happiness in the workplace, which is no easy task.
What we learned
Apparently, plants require more care than just watering. Some need to be trimmed, others need to be rotated. Who knew?!
What's next for GROOT
We're experimenting with sensor integration so that GROOT can stop guessing. Being able to measure soil humidity and sunlight would be invaluable data that could save a plant's life!