A great way to bolster productivity and add some cheer to your office is by including some leafy friends around your workplace. Just like office snacks, office plants are a cost-effective way to brighten up your team’s workday and even improve productivity.
1. Office plants can improve the health of employees and reduce sick days
An immediate effect that office plants can have on employee well-being is the reduction of sick days taken. Plants naturally filter toxins from the rooms that they grow in and help freshen up the place. If your office has poor ventilation, then your team may be at risk of developing the “sick building syndrome” and believe us when we say – it is a real thing! Symptoms include headaches, nausea, difficulty concentrating, and even flu-like symptoms. Although plants alone cannot fix all of the problems associated with this office phenomena, they can help relieve the burden just a little bit.
Try sprucing up your workplace with Peace Lilies, Devil’s Ivy, and Spider Plants, all common office plants that are known air purifiers and will help everyone in the office breathe a little easier.
2. Office plants can play a role in increasing productivity
Did you know that offices with zero decor are considered “the most toxic” spaces for humans? Dr. Chris Knight and his fellow psychologists at Exeter University say that employees perform better when household plants are added to their work spaces. In fact, after studying this concept for 10 years, the team concluded that workers are 15% more productive when there are houseplants and decor around. Reason? Employees who engage with their surroundings tend to achieve a greater output and have an easier time staying focused.
Consider setting up some communal office plants in places where people can see them from their desk. Eye-catching varieties like the Zebra Plant, Red-Edge Dracaena, or the Bamboo Palm are great for sprucing up common spaces.
3. Certain plants can boost creativity
Creative blocks are no joke. Whether you’re out of ideas or stuck on the same one for a little too long, office plants can provide inspiration. Bright colors and vibrant smells are key to making sure your leafy buddy has a positive impact on your creativity. It’s been widely recognized that stimulating our senses can open up the flow of ideas and taking the time to literally smell the flowers can help pull you out of your slump.
Try scrounging up some Hens and Chicks, Chamaedorea Elegans, or a Cypress Vine, as these plants are eye-catching and smell lovely.
4. Office plants can help absorb background noise
With open-concept offices dominating the workforce and the inarguable distractions employees experience when there’s too much noise, having plants in the office can help absorb some of the background office chatter. This is especially true if your work space has hard surfaces such as exposed concrete walls or floors, since there are no other means of absorbing the excess noise.
Positioning larger plant pots, around the edges and corners of a room is the best way to reap the benefits. Some of the taller plants include the ‘Anita’ Dragon Tree, Snake Plant, and the Weeping Fig.
5. Office plants can help reduce stress
Even if you love where you work, sometimes stress is unavoidable. Office plants have been shown to reduce stress levels in employees when introduced into the workplace. The UTS study conducted in 2010, found that offices that were spruced up with plants saw the following benefits:
- 37% reduction in anxiety.
- 44% reduction in office hostility.
- Reduced chronic fatigue by nearly 40%.
- 58% reduction in reported depression.
Since the color green can have a soothing effect, try picking up plants like the Pincushion Cactus, the Desert Gem, or Blue Barrel Cactus.
6. Plants can help attract talent
Did you know that nearly 50% of employees have no natural light in their place of work? In addition, one in five people said they have no natural elements in their office, whatsoever. That means that a lot of us are working in a dark, lifeless space, which if you ask me, doesn’t seem like an appealing place to be. That’s why there is an upward trend of potential employees taking the physical space into consideration when searching for new opportunities.
Impress candidates with natural decor or even go as far as evaluating if a living green wall is right for your office.
7. Office plants help reduce the use of energy
Turns out, when plants breathe they raise the humidity levels in the building, and enough of them can lower the temperature inside by 10°C (50°F) or more. One study showed that a single healthy tree can cool a building by the same amount as 20 air conditioning units working for 20 hours a day.
Try some larger species of indoor trees to max out this effect and reduce the use of your office AC. This may not be the all-in-all solution to reducing your energy use, but it can sure set the office on a more eco-friendly path.
These are just a few of the many ways that office plants help with workplace stress, productivity, creativity and overall health of your team. You don’t have to go all out right away, maybe pick up a few plants are easy to care for and go from there. Start building your collection of office plants and discover all the wonderful ways that they benefit your day.