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Offices plants make employees happier, study discovers

| September 9, 2014

A few office plants can work wonders for workers, according to a new study on “green versus lean office space.” As Time reports, the study — the first of its kind — found a noticeable long-term impact of office plants: Researchers from Cardiff University, the University of Exeter and the University of Groningen measured a 15 percent jump in productivity after lean, plant-less offices were “spruced up with leafy, green plant life.”
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/aug/31/plants-offices-workers-productive-minimalist-employees

office plants

Researchers found that office plants contributed to a 15 percent increase in productivity. From bflshadow.

Over two months, office workers in the three commercial offices studied throughout the U.K. and the Netherlands recorded improved concentration, a general increase in satisfaction, and higher air quality levels. “It appears that in part this is because a green office communicates to employees that their employer cares about them and their welfare,” study author Alex Haslam, a psychology professor at the University of Queensland, noted to Time. “The findings suggest that investing in landscaping an office will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity.”

The study, which was published in the “Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied,” reveals findings that contradict the current trend toward the lean office, which, as the study authors explain, “call[s] for space to be stripped of extraneous decorations so that it can flexibly accommodate changing numbers of people and different office functions within the same area.” Such a lean space may prove detrimental to worker morale and productivity. “[This] practice is at odds with evidence that office workers’ quality of life can be enriched by office landscaping that involves the use of plants that have no formal work-related function,” note the authors.

The study’s findings suggest that today’s sparse office — those spaces that lack plants, personal photos, and other seemingly nonessential items — would actually benefit from a bit of greenery. “Psychologically manipulating real workplaces and real jobs adds new depth to our understanding of what is right and what is wrong with existing workspace design and management,” Craig Knight, co-author of the new study, explained to Science World Report. “We are now developing a template for a genuinely smart office.”

Plants have been shown to have benefits for humans before, both scientifically and experientially. “We know from previous studies that plants can lower physiological stress, increase attention span and improve well-being,” Kenneth Freeman, head of innovation at Ambius (who was not involved in this study) explained to Science World Report. “But this is the first long term experiment carried out in a real-life situation which shows that bringing plants into offices can improve well-being and make people feel happier at work.”

So, which plants should you bring into work? Gardening Know How recommends a few ideal for your workspace: Pothos, Philodendrons, cacti, Spider plants and Snake plants are all great for beginners who haven’t quite developed their green thumbs yet; while Rubber plants, Dracaena and Peace lily plants are hailed for improving air quality. For smaller spaces, consider the African violet, which needs light and moisture but won’t require too much space.

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Category: New Products, Office courtesy, Uncategorized

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