5 Reasons to have Plants at the Office

Being in nature is one of the most innate inclinations for humans. Unfortunately, too many of us spend most of our days indoors, separated from greenery. Luckily there’s an easy way to curb this problem — office plants. As simple as it seems, adding plants, or even a single plant, into our work environments can actually generate a number of significant benefits, and help restore our need to be connected to nature.

Here are 5 great reasons why you should bring a plant or two into your workspace:

1. Reduced Stress

Numerous studies suggest that plants in the office environment lead to a significant reduction in stress levels. For example, according to a 2010 study by the University of Technology, Sydney, the introduction of plants into an office was attributed to a 37% drop in reported anxiety, a 58% drop in depression, a 44% decrease in anger/hostility, and a 38% reduction in fatigue.

In conclusion, the researchers stated, “...just one plant per workspace can provide a very large lift to staff spirits, and so promote well-being and performance.”


2. Increased Productivity 

A single potted plant can help you better tackle that to-do list. A study by Washington State University found that the presence of plants helped participants complete tasks more effectively. 

In the study, researchers asked one test group complete a task in a computer room with plants, and a second test group to complete the same task, in the same room, but without foliage. The researchers found that productivity increased by 12% for the group that had worked around plants. In addition, participants in the plant-filled room reported feeling more attentive than those who completed the task without any greenery. 


3. Cleaner Air

Carbon Monoxide. Building Materials. Mold. Cleaning Products. These can easily accumulate in the work building and negatively impact air quality. Thankfully, plants are the world’s most efficient (and sometimes cheapest) air filters. Interior plants have been shown to increase overall air quality in closed spaces. Studies conducted by NASA have even confirmed that mere houseplants can remove volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) — particles that contribute to a number of health problems such as burning eyes and respiratory issues.


4. Boosted Creativity

In a 2015 study by Human Spaces, that analyzed 7,600 office workers from 16 countries, it found that employees scored 15% higher on creativity tests when they worked in offices which featured natural elements, such as indoor plants.

Attention Restoration Theory, first proposed in 1980, also suggests that looking at nature can cause the brain to shift into a different mode of processing (theconversation.com). However, when natural environments aren’t available, a simple plant is enough to do the trick. 


5. More Color and Texture

All other benefits aside, aesthetically, plants add a wonderful pop of color and texture to any workplace. In the office, the bright greenery helps contrast the cold metallic of file cabinets or the dullness of concrete. Plants can be used to create a more relaxed, homey feel in the office; or conversely, to make a work area more vibrant and exciting. The way you choose to decorate and benefit from office plants is all yours!

Read this article and more in our October 2019 newsletter