Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the positive effects of greenery in the workplace. And by greenery, we mean that one created by decorating the workplace with plants and flowers.
We present the seven (7) benefits of such a workplace for the employees - but also for the employers.
People have an inherent desire to connect with nature. Scientists call this desire “biophilia”. Unfortunately, the spaces in which we spend most of our time, such as workplaces, tend to be unrelated to the natural environment.
Studies show that adding even a little greenery in the form of indoor plants can have significant positive effects for the employees and businesses as well. The same applies to employees who work remotely or from their home.
Followingly, we present seven (7) important reasons explaining why it is good to invest in plants or flowers, either for your office or for your wider workspace.
1. They reduce stress
A study conducted by the University of Technology Sydney measured significant reductions in stress among employees working in workplaces with plants. In particular, the results showed a decrease of 37% in tension and anxiety, a decrease of 58% in depression or rejection, a decrease of 44% in anger and hostility, and a decrease of 38% in fatigue.
Even though the study sample was small, the researchers concluded that even one plant in the workplace can bring a lot of excitement to the morale of the employees and, by extension, contribute to the well-being and better performance.
Supporters of the psychology of colors claim that green color contributes to relaxation and tranquility.
2. They improve productivity
Employees' productivity improves by 15% when their workplace is filled with a handful of indoor plants, according to a study by the University of Exeter. Adding even one plant improves memory and helps employees perform better on basic tests, according to Dr. Chris Knight.
"What is important is that every employee can see a plant from their office," says Dr. Knight at The Guardian. "If you work in an environment where there is something to psychologically stimulate you, then you become more pleased and you work better."
3. They reduce the rates of illness and absenteeism
According to a Human Spaces report, after a study conducted to 7,600 employees in 16 countries, 58% of them have no plants or flowers in their workplace. The rest of those working in nature-friendly places recorded a 15% higher wellness rate and a 6% higher productivity rate, compared to those who did not have any elements of nature in their work environment.
A small research conducted by the Agricultural University of Norway in the 1990s has shown that having plants in the office is associated with a 25% reduction in symptoms of poor health, including feeling tired, lacking in concentration, dry skin, and irritation in the nose and eyes.
"The presence of plants is likely to have a positive effect on the psychosocial work environment," says Professor Dr.Tove Fjeld. "The effect of the sense of well-being also affects how people appreciate their state of health. Contrary to the context of psychobiological identity and positive human response to nature, we can assume that plants have a special effect on the feeling of well-being. This is evident from the fact that the symptoms associated with the atmosphere in an indoor environment are diminishing."
4. They make the workplace more attractive to prospective employees
Commenting on the results of the Human Spaces report, Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organizational Psychology, said: "The benefit of a nature-inspired design, known as" biophilic design ", is documented by elements that are gathering at a very fast pace. On the other hand, looking at the world's work environments, we see that one in five people do not have elements of nature in their working environment and almost 50% of employees do not even get any natural light, which is worrying. At the same time, 1/3 of the respondents state that the design of the workplace affects their decision to work or not in a company. There is a significant deviation here since the belief in the importance of biophilic design has been established quite recently."
5. They clean the air
While humans need oxygen to survive, plants absorb gas that we do not need - carbon dioxide - and combine it with water and light to produce energy through the process of photosynthesis.
In the 1980s, NASA scientists discovered that plants remove chemicals from the air, such as benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde, and thus contribute to a cleaner atmosphere for humans.
A more recent research by Professor Dr. Fraser Torpy, Managing Director of the University of Technology Sydney, showed that indoor plants help reduce carbon dioxide by 10% in offices with air-conditioning and about 25% in non-air-conditioned buildings.
"A medium-sized plant - anything more than 20cm - in a room will bring about significant reductions in the above-mentioned chemical substances," says Dr. Torpy.
6. They reduce noise levels
With noise absorption (as opposed to their isolation against noise pollution), plants help reduce the distraction caused by the conversations within the office. Placing larger plants in different areas at the edges and corners of an area creates the greatest benefit in terms of noise absorption, according to a study conducted in 1995 by the London South Bank University.
7. They enhance creativity
The Human Spaces report also showed that employees in places with nature elements scored 15% higher in creativity rates than those working in offices without nature elements.
The attention restoration theory demonstrates that looking at nature - even if it is a simple picture of nature - shifts our brain to a different status and makes employees feel calmer and be able to concentrate on their duties.
Which plants are most suitable for the work environment?
Not all plants are suitable for your work environment. You should keep in mind the particular circumstances of your area, such as the natural daylight and how often they can be watered. Those that will grow in the workplace are plants containing aloe and cactus, rubber plants and lilies.
Source: Seven benefits of having plants in your office, CIPHR