Whether you work from home in your personal office space or from your office cubicle in a busy office building, live plants and greenery can have a huge impact on your physical and emotional health in the workplace, effecting more than just your productivity and creativity. Numerous studies have found that live plants in the workplace are much more than simply an attractive decorative item. In fact, some of the most talked-about and most creative office spaces include natural elements in their design. Therefore, if you’re considering utilizing live plants in your office space, here’s a few reasons why you should invest in the additional décor ASAP.
A study conducted by New University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2010 found that when plants were introduced into the workplace, workers experienced a significant decrease in stress levels. For instance, a 37% decrease in tension and anxiety, a 58% fall in depression or dejection, a 44% reduction in anger and hostility, and a 38% drop in fatigue was recorded. Additionally, implementing plants into an office space has also been proven to lower blood pressure as well.
The drastic positive effects may be a result of the calming, colorful, and relaxing nature of plants, or the fact that colors do play a role on our mood, and the color green is said to be relaxing, calming, and welcoming, improving efficiency and focus.
Considering the color green has shown to improve efficiency and focus, it’s no surprise that numerous studies have indicated that fewer mistakes are made, tasks are completed faster, and productivity increases by 10-15% following the initiation of plants in the workplace. These improvements could also be a consequence of the plants’ ability to reduce the carbon dioxide in the air.
Dr. Chris Knight from Exeter University found that just one plant per square meter substantially improved employee performance on memory retention and other basic tests.
In The Human Spaces Report, produced in 2015, Professor Sir Cary Cooper found that employees who worked in spaces which contained natural elements scored 15% more creative overall. The study consisted of 7,600 office workers from 16 countries and examined the impact of the physical office environment on employee well-being.
Attention restoration theory suggests that simply just looking at nature or natural elements can cause the brain to shift into a different mode of processing.
Reduce Sickness and Absences
Researchers suggest that the numerous health improvements resulting from the introduction of plants in the workplace can be explained by the improved air quality caused by the plants and the psychological value of being in a more pleasant environment. Following the implementation of plants, employee absences were reported to decrease by 50% and a 30% reduction of minor illnesses was observed.
Plant life greatly improves air quality in the space by reducing carbon dioxide levels by 50% in addition to the decrease in dust, bacteria, and mold. With a ratio of only 1 plant per 3 employees, air quality is drastically improved and minor illnesses such as a cough/sore throat, mucous membrane symptoms, dry or flushed skin, and fatigue are much less common.
Lower Noise Levels
Plants in an office space reduce reverberation time, changing the room acoustics. They absorb noise, therefore, are a very simple and effective way to lower noise levels and aid in improving focus among employees. This characteristic is best put to use in areas with hard surfaces (hardwood floors or concrete and marble walls).
Create a More Attractive Environment
Last but not least, colorful plants, flowers, and greenery are an attractive addition to any workspace. The added color and life will make the space feel more welcoming and inviting as well as add a “homey” aspect to the space. Not only does this improve the design element of the environment, but it also aids in recruiting and retaining your employees.
Additionally, be sure to consider the type of plants you’re purchasing. Prior to buying, I recommend conducting some research on the best plants for an indoor or office environment. Some require more maintenance than others, such as more water, sunlight, etc. Confirm that your plants will live a long and healthy life in their new environment. Next, enjoy each and every benefit of your variety of plant life.
About the Author
Taylor Landis writes the blog content for Skutchi Designs, a national office cubicle manufacturer. Her topics vary from office design to organizational tips and tricks to architectural trends and the occasional how-to guides. Outside the office, Taylor teaches horseback riding lessons and rides and competes on her own horse. Check out more of her posts at http://www.skutchi.com/blog.html.