Plants are wonderful. They look pretty, they sometimes smell lovely and they are very good at hiding that stain on the table. But how do they benefit the workplace and make you more productive?
Philip is obsessed with plants. They’re everywhere. They’re on the desks, hanging from the roof, and the call room has been transformed into a zen garden (the water feature is probably not far away). In fact, our company mascot is Klaus the ficus, a majestic being who has been there right from the start. But there are many more reasons to keep a plant in your office. I’m going to let my psychological background run wild and give you an insight on why you should twig on to the plant craze. Here are the 5 most important reasons!
They reduce stress
Have you ever been so overwhelmed by all of the pressures of life and had to run to the forest to just sit amongst the trees to feel the calm wash over you? I definitely have (bonus of being from New Zealand, you’re never short on a good forest). Well, there is an actual theory to back up my tree-hugging ideas. The biophilia hypothesis states that the natural world is a calming force for people as it links back to our days of survival in the wild places. Those who could find nature would be able to eat, so I guess looking at a plant just before lunchtime calms us down. It’s also a recommendation given to people who suffer from mental illness such as depression and anxiety. Try looking at a tree and contemplate it’s being. You’ll feel much better.
If you’re into the psychology of colors, green is considered have a calming influence, another stress relieving property of the humble pot plant. It reminds us of nature and evokes the zen inside all of us. It makes sense when you consider that in showbiz you have to wait in the green room before going on stage.
They boost productivity & creativity
If you want to boost your staff productivity, chuck a plant in the room and watch it bloom! A study found that by adding just a few pot plants could increase productivity levels by 15% and increase memory retention as well. That’s not something to be sniffed at. Psychologists decided to test the concentration and attention of participants with a theory called the attention restoration theory. The theory tested whether just looking at nature could change the way your brain processes things to allow for better concentration. Participants were given tasks after having either looked at pictures of lovely green meadows or a concrete roof and were judged on their ability to carry out the task. Guess which participants scored higher!
Staff pull fewer sickies
A Norwegian study from the 90s discovered that symptoms such as fatigue, concentration problems, dry skin and irritation of the nose and eyes decreased by 25% with the introduction of plants in the office. A possible reason for this is that plants can clean the air. They can bring the levels of carbon dioxide down by 10% in air-conditioned offices and 25% in offices without it. So wake up your staff and give them the gift of a shrub.
They make the office quieter
Getting distracted by the noise that comes with being in the same room as people? Plants can help with this too! They can absorb the sounds such as the annoying typing on a keyboard, conversations between colleagues, and the burr of machinery. It only works with happy plants so make sure they’re looking good or it won’t work.
They make the office look pretty
I’m not going to back this one up with fancy studies and numbers because who can deny this point. Plants look lovely. They brighten up the room, make it feel more welcoming, and make the space look much better when you’re trying to impress a client, potential employee, your mum…
So whether you’re an employer or an employee, wake up and smell the roses! Get some plants on your desk and improve your well-being. Make sure you find the right plant for your office, taking into consideration the light and the amount of effort you’re prepared to put into it (for me that means the bare minimum).
How do you make the workplace a lovely place to be? Do you have plants too? Drop us a comment with your productivity-boosting ideas so we can all have the nicest work environments. 🌿