Having greenery in the office might seem a very trivial detail to many of us. However, adding plants to one's office should be done by each employee. Why?
Research conducted by New University of Technology, Sydney (Australia) showed that generally plants decrease stress and negative emotions by as much as 30 to 60%. At the same time, staff in the office with no plants are experiencing increase in stress by 20 to 40%.
Some Figures on How Plants Can Influence Productivity
Certain microcomponents are almost certainly “inhabiting” each office. Moreover, their concentration turns out to be higher inside than outside. Among them usually are emissions from plastic and synthetic furniture and equipment, outside substances, CO2 resulting from breathing, etc. All of these contaminate the air and make it harder for people to breathe.
On the contrary, clean air positively influences heart and brain activities, hence increases overall productivity.
The same research also summarized 6 sub-categories that could be influenced by presence / absence of plants in the office. Generally speaking, all negative emotions tend to eliminate, with vigor not changing.
Benefits of Greenery in the Office and its Influence on Productivity
Heart and brain activities improve mainly because plants decrease carbon dioxide in the air, making it easier to breathe. Clear and fast thinking is stimulated. People at work make fewer mistakes and work faster.
Fewer Absences and Illness
With plants in the office, employees are less likely to skip work (which obviously increases productivity and reduces costs). They also tend to take fewer sick leaves.
Nice Office Environment
Greenery in the office creates eco-friendly, nature-like background. Different plants at desks is something most people would like looking at. It’s also good to have greenery in the office where clients are usually invited in.
Plants reduce dust, bacteria and toxins in the office which would be inhaled otherwise. Depending on the number of plants, dust might be reduced by 50%. Also, costs on air conditioners might also be decreased. In any case, it's good to have plants along with the air conditioners, since the latter make the air dry while the first adds humidity. With proper location within the office it’s possible to reach the right balance.
Human skin is becoming 20% less dry with plants around. Hence, nice and healthy looks can be maintained even if working in the office all day long, with no longer walks outside.
Plants have an ability to absorb sounds both within the office and from the outside. Actually they can reduce inside noise by as much as 5 decibels.
What Plants Are Best for the Office?
As a matter of fact, there’s a whole variety of plants you can place in your office. The most popular are spider plants, aloe, cactus, ivy, peace lily and African violet. Each can contribute in its own way.
Greenery in the workplace is a very cheap but no less effective way to increase productivity of staff already in the short run. The research we’ve mentioned at the beginning finalizes:
“… just one plant per workspace can provide a very large lift to staff spirits, and so promote wellbeing and performance.”