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Plants Boost Workplace Productivity by 15%

Plants Boost Workplace Productivity by 15%
(Last Updated On: November 15, 2023)

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Office plants are a great addition to any workspace. Not only do they look visually pleasing, but they also uplift the ambiance in the workplace. But do office plants boost workplace productivity? They sure do.

Office plants boost workplace productivity up to 15%. 

The impact of various workplace environments on productivity was thoroughly investigated by academics from the School of Psychology at the University of Cardiff, a Dutch University, and two Australian Universities. This research on the long-term consequences of plants in a workplace was a first in the field.

Do Plants Boost Productivity in the Workplace?

Cognitive skill tests show that workers who work in environments with one plant per square meter of floor space perform better. In conclusion, it has been discovered that greener workplaces enhance worker involvement, concentration, and long-term decisive abilities. 

How Do Office Plants Boost Workplace Productivity?

The oxygen quality is paramount. Specifically speaking, plants purify the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and expelling oxygen. 

Furthermore, according to a NASA report on Interior Landscape Plants For Indoor Air Pollution Abatement, plants filter formaldehyde, benzene, and other toxins emitted by synthetic office equipment. Workers are, therefore, more likely to be calm, concentrated, and more inventive when there is a greater oxygen supply and fewer hazardous substances. This, in turn, encourages workplace productivity and teamwork.

The “productive plant” phenomenon has a variety of contributors. In and of themselves, some horticultural additions do not increase workers’ productivity. Rather, this green efficiency results from more workplace satisfaction, a stronger sense of belonging to the organization, and a perception that management places a high value on employee pleasure and satisfaction.

Office Plants Improve Employee Satisfaction and Quality of Life

Workplace plants are a cheap method to enliven your team’s working day and even increase productivity, just like snacks. Discover the advantages of keeping plants in your workspace by reading on.

Reduced Background Noise

Due to the prevalence of open-concept office environments, the undeniable distractions that result from high noise levels for the employees can reduce their productivity. Having plants at your workplace can assist reduce background noise. 

Given that there are no alternative ways to buffer the unnecessary noise, this is particularly true if your workspace includes hard surfaces like exposed concrete floors and walls. The best approach to reap from them is to place big plant pots around the room’s borders and corners.

Enhanced Employee Productivity

Have you ever heard that offices without any decorations are regarded as “the most hazardous” environments for people? According to Dr. Chris Knight and his colleagues in the psychology department at Exeter University, adding houseplants to the workplace improves productivity. 

In fact, after researching this idea for ten years, the team came to the conclusion that having plants and other decorations around increases productivity by 15%. Why is that so? Employees that are engaged with their environment generally exhibit more and can maintain attention easily.

Reduced Use of Energy 

It appears that plants’ respiration increases a building’s humidity, and most of them can cut the temperature indoors by at least 10°C (50°F). A single flourishing tree can cool down a place by the same proportion as 20 air conditioners operating for 20 hours each day, according to one study.

To optimize this impact and cut back on the use of your workplace AC, try the larger types of indoor shrubs. There is a possibility that this will not completely solve your energy problems, but it may get the office moving in the right direction.

Psychological Impact of Plants in the Workplace

Different efficiency-boosting methods and techniques that foster effective teamwork come to mind when discussing workplace productivity. Why do we prefer certain productivity strategies? That is because they integrate easily into our routines. So if you think about it, workplace plants meet this requirement wonderfully. 

In addition to providing a beautiful addition, plants can enhance the atmosphere in a workplace. Psychologists have discovered that adding some greenery can boost productivity by up to 15% and boost employee happiness. Listed below are some more psychological benefits of having plants in a workplace. 

Plants Serve as a Talent Magnet 

Do you know that about 50% of employees are working in spaces with no natural light? Furthermore, one in five respondents claimed their workplace included no natural components. 

This implies that a significant portion of us are functioning in a dim, lifeless environment, which is not a particularly enticing setting. Due to this, the physical location is increasingly being considered by workers looking for new opportunities. Impress potential employees with organic décor, or even consider whether a live green wall would be appropriate for your workplace.

Reduced Stress Levels

Even if you adore your job, stress might occasionally be unavoidable. When placed in the workspace, plants have been demonstrated to lower workers’ stress levels. According to UTS research from 2010, offices that had plants added to them experienced the following advantages:

  • 37% decrease in anxiety
  • Reduced workplace antagonism by 44%
  • 40% fewer chronic fatigue cases
  • 58% fewer depression cases

Increased Employee Morale

A quarter of the lifetimes of your personnel are spent at work. Employees are likely to be committed to their company and feel less tempted to look for alternative employment options when the office fully satisfies their psychological demands.

According to Harvard researchers, businesses with green workspaces have higher employee morale and learning skills. Employee participation was also greater, which helped to ensure that goals and objectives were met more frequently. The study’s participants had just one living plant for every square meter of workplace space.

Enhanced Creativity 

There is no amusement in having a creative block. Workplace plants can inspire you even if you are running out of concepts or have been working on the same thing for too long. 

To ensure that your green friends have a beneficial effect on your imagination, surround your workspace with bright colors and pleasant aromas. It is well known that engaging our senses helps increase the flow of inspiration, so spending some time figuratively sniffing the flowers can assist you in getting out of a rut.

Physiological Impact of Plants in the Workplace

Efficiency and staff satisfaction significantly impact how well your business performs. And we now have a huge amount of research showing how much indoor plants enhance each of these parameters.

Reduced Sick Leaves 

The decrease in sick leaves taken is one obvious effect workplace plants can have on employee performance. Plants help purify the air by naturally removing contaminants from the spaces where they are grown. 

Your staff may risk getting “sick building syndrome” if your workspace has poor ventilation. Headaches, nausea, trouble focusing, and flu-like clinical signs are among the indications. Even if they cannot completely solve all of the issues caused by this office phenomenon, plants can at least somewhat lessen the strain.

Effect on Discomfort Symptoms 

The strongest support for plant-based health benefits comes from a Norwegian study conducted in 1995–1996. The study team looked at 60 office employees who had both a plant condition and no plant condition throughout spring. 

Half of the participants had plants placed on their window ledge and a sizable floor plant close to their workstations throughout the survey’s first year. In contrast, the other half worked in conventional office settings without any plants.

In the following year of the research, the circumstances were switched around, and the houseplants were relocated to the workplaces of the group that did not have any plants. A validated survey tool was used by the researchers to examine symptoms and quantify:

  • Neuropsychological Symptoms (concentration issues, headache, and fatigue)
  • Mucous Membrane Symptoms (sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, and eye irritation)
  • Skin Issues (dry or flushed skin)

The analysis contrasted symptoms in the presence of plants and the absence of plants. The findings revealed that:

  • There were 23% fewer neuropsychological symptoms with plants around. The greatest reduction in fatigue being at 30%.
  • Overall, the symptoms of mucosal membranes were decreased by 24% in the presence of plants. 37% less coughing and 25% less sore throat.
  • Plants in the workplace decreased dry or irritated skin by 23%.

According to the experts, two mechanisms, better quality of air and the psychological benefit of experiencing a more appealing environment, may have contributed to health gains. It is possible that the existence of plants produced a microclimate impact that increased humidity, which could affect mucocutaneous systems and clean the air of pollutants.

Reduced Airborne Toxins 

In a test chamber investigation, formaldehyde and xylene were evaluated using plants in a 1989 study. A 1990s Environmental Protection Agency research that discovered high concentrations of these pollutants in recently built office buildings served as the impetus for this investigation. The substances are frequently present in furniture and building supplies. 

The scientists discovered that houseplants were efficient in constantly eliminating the pollutants from the test chamber atmosphere. The soil’s microbes and the plant leaves help enhance the air quality.

Final Thoughts

Overall, office plants boost workplace productivity and employee morale which is a significant advantage. Plants’ positive impact on workplace productivity and employee morale is a well-established concept. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do plants boost workplace productivity?

There is strong evidence that having plants around the office reduces stress and boosts output. According to a UK study, having plants around the office resulted in 15% more employee productivity. Conversely, a US study discovered that the absence of natural light and greenery in the workplace might be the cause of 10% of the workforce’s sick absences.

What are the benefits of plants in the office?

Plants help to lessen the disruptive impacts of background workplace talk by soaking noises rather than isolating them against excessive noise. According to 1995 research by experts at London South Bank University, placing large plant pots in several spots in the corners of an area has a significant positive advantage. 

Should you have a plant in your office?

According to color psychology, green has a soothing and relaxing influence. Therefore, furnishing offices with plants can create a calmer working environment. 

About the author

Dr. Alexander Sterling, Esq, a distinguished legal scholar with a business law degree and a Doctor of Juridical Science, is a leading expert in business registration and diverse business departments. Renowned for his academic excellence and practical insights, Dr. Sterling guides businesses through legal complexities, offering invaluable expertise in compliance, corporate governance, and registration processes.

As an accomplished author, his forthcoming book is anticipated to be a comprehensive guide for navigating the dynamic intersection of law and business, providing clarity and practical wisdom for entrepreneurs and legal professionals alike. With a commitment to legal excellence, Dr. Alexander Sterling, Esq, is a trusted authority dedicated to empowering businesses within the ever-evolving legal landscape.