People will usually say that they 'feel better' when there are plants around. While that may be true to them, is there actual proof that greenery has a positive effect for a healthier and happier office? You bet there is!
A number of studies have looked how a more natural-looking surrounding impacts people's health and productivity. Turns out that connection with vegetation - both outdoors and installed indoors - reduces stress, headaches and fatigue, and restores attention capacity. They actually contribute to fewer sick days, and improved performance on a variety of your employee's cognitive tasks.
One of the most famous publishing of these facts was a Norwegian study, which provides the best evidence for the health benefits of plants. A research team studied office workers who were first surrounded by healthy, professionally maintained plants, and then had those plants removed.
It turned out that when the plants were removed, the study group showed remarkable increases in:
- Fatigue, headache and concentration problems
- Coughing, sore throats, stuffy noses and eye irritation
- Dry skin
This study suggested that these and more health benefits were likely due to the improved air quality, increase in moisture, cleansing of the air, and the overall value of being in a more pleasing environment.
Adding to that, The Fjeld study in Norway has been studying the benefits of plants for over 20 years, suggesting that there is a consistent pattern that happens when people are surrounded by plants:
- Stress is reduced
- Dampens noise and has a calming effect
- Moods are overall more positive
- Increased ability to re-focus attention
- Mental fatigue is minimized
- Better task-based performance
Don't take our word for it, put plants to the test. See for yourself how professionally-maintained indoor green spaces will help make your office a more pleasant and productive workplace!
If this kind of science-based proof impresses you, be sure to check out these studies:
- Judith Heerwagen, PhD, 2012. The Benefits of Plants in the Workplace. WorkDesign Magazine
- T. Fjeld, B Veiersted, L Sandvik, G. Riise, and F. Levy, 1998. The Effect of Indoor Foliage Plants on Health and Discomfort Symptoms among Office Workers. Indoor Built Environment, 7:204-209.
- Heshong-Mahone Group, 2003. Windows and offices: A Study of Worker Performance and the Indoor Environment. California Energy Commission: PIER program.
- S.R. Kellert, J.Heerwagen, and M. Mador, (Eds), 2008. Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life, New York: Wiley.