Studies have shown that plants help reduce stress, enhance employee mood, boost productivity, and improve air quality. So it’s worth investing in some plants in the workplace to help enhance your employees’ wellbeing.
Research from Norway provides some great evidence around the health benefits of plants. For example, neuropsychological symptoms were reduced by 23% when plants were present, with fatigue reduced by 30%.
Meanwhile, mucous membrane symptoms were reduced by 24% thanks to plants. In addition, coughs decreased by 37% and dry throat by 25% when plants were in close proximity.
So adding plants in the workplace could reduce absenteeism, which is obviously good for business. When it comes to productivity, we found an interesting piece in The Guardian, which we’ve summarised here:
Staff productivity rises 15% when former ‘plant less’ work environments are spruced up with just a handful of houseplants, according to research by the University of Exeter. Adding just one plant per square metre improved memory retention and helped employees score higher on other basic tests, said researcher Dr Chris Knight.
“What was important was that everybody could see a plant from their desk,” says Knight. “If you are working in an environment where there’s something to get you psychologically engaged you are happier and you work better.”
Can plants in the workplace boost creativity?
Yes, according to the 2015 Human Spaces report. It found that employees in offices that included natural elements scored 15% higher for creativity versus those whose offices didn’t include such elements. Attention restoration theory suggests that looking at nature can shift the brain into a different processing mode. This makes staff feel more relaxed and better able to concentrate. And that includes just looking at images of nature – another thing to consider when choosing office pictures.