Placing several small plants in or around your workstation isn’t solely for decorative purposes. This may come as a surprise, but scientists have known for years that strategically placed plants provide several benefits to both your office and your employees. Here’s a list of reasons you should do exactly that.
Plants Significantly Reduce Stress
In 2010, a study made by the University of Technology in Sydney found that plants placed in the office reduced workers’ stress greatly. Before the plants were brought into the test office, participants were asked to answer a questionnaire to assess and determine their baseline physical and mental health scores. Three months after plants were introduced in their office, the participants were given another questionnaire.
The results were impressive. Respondents reported a 37% decrease in tension and anxiety, a 58% reduction in depression, a 44% decrease in anger and hostility, and a 38%reduction in fatigue signs. The study basically proved that even one plant can greatly lift the spirits of office staff, and promote better performance and overall well-being.
Plants Make Workers More Productive
Apart from making workers feel better emotionally and mentally, the presence of plants can increase employee productivity by at least 15%. This was discovered in another study from the University of Exeter back in 2014. It’s not even necessary to flood your office with plants; by adding one plant per square meter, you can improve employees’ memory and ability to perform basic mental tasks.
To maximize these benefits, it’s recommended that you position plants in such a way that workers get to see a plant from their desks. A good way to ensure the plants’ visibility to every employee and to make sure the space isn’t overwhelmed with plants is to spread them out in custom planter boxes.
Plants Reduce Sick Days
Since plants give off beneficial oxygen and clean out the ambient air, some experts claim they can reduce the risk of sick building syndrome. Although evidence of this is difficult to come by, a small study made by the Agricultural University of Norway observed a 25% decrease in fatigue, sickness, concentration problems, dry skin, eye and nasal irritation after plants were brought into an office that previously had none.
Plants Increase Curb Appeal
In real estate, curb appeal is the attractiveness of the exterior of a property for sale as viewed from the street. Offices have a “curb appeal” of their own, but instead of appealing to home buyers, they appeal to potential clients and prospective hires. Many potential clients would hesitate to walk into a dull-looking office or one with a façade devoid of any attractive features like well-kept greenery. The same can be said of applicants—your office could miss out on a potentially great hire if these candidates perceive your office as lifeless and lacking of any plants.
Plants Clean and Filter the Air
Any grade school student will tell you that we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, and plants convert our exhaled CO2 into our much-needed oxygen. This mutually beneficial relationship people have with plants is reason enough to keep them around the office, but plants do more for us. NASA’s scientists in the 1980s actually found that plants are excellent at filtering out harmful substances like benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde from the surrounding air.
A more recent study by the University of Technology in Sydney reveals that indoor plants can help bring down levels of CO2 by 10% in air-conditioned offices, and by 25% in offices that don’t have air conditioning.
Specific Plants that “Work” Best
An interesting fact about plants is that there are specific kinds that look good, offer the most benefits, and can survive on little sunlight and water. You’d think they were made to be office workers themselves! Here are some plants that can function and thrive well in your office:
- Aloe Vera — This plant improves air quality; it’s known as “nature’s air purifier.” Since it’s a succulent, or related to the cactus plant, it needs minimal watering. Aloe Vera is also known to have burn-soothing qualities, so it’s handy if anyone spills hot coffee on themselves.
- Snake Plant—Another excellent choice for the office, the Snake Plant can absorb and filter out large amounts of benzene gas in the air in as little as 24 hours. It’s also a low-maintenance plant, but you might have to dust it off every so often.
- English Ivy—A perennial vine, English Ivy can thrive in a hanging basket or in a planter or pot with a stake in it to let it creep. English Ivy filters the air of mold and reduces the musty smell of old buildings. You must note that this plant is itself toxic, and can be harmful if any part of it is touched or eaten. Post warning signs and keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
- Peace Lily—The Peace Lily sprouts beautiful white flowers, despite needing very little light to survive. Its benefits make it a sort of hybrid of the Snake Plant and the English Ivy, as it filters indoor air of benzene, formaldehyde, acetone, and mold spores.
- Philodendron—A pretty, petite and low-maintenance plant, the Philodendron thrives with minimal sunlight. Don’t let its small size fool you; this plant works hard to filter the air.
They Keep Down the Noise
Plants actually absorb sounds. If you have enough of them to divide wide areas or keep them in meeting rooms, plants can reduce the distracting noises in an office, like the constant tapping on keyboards, ringing phones or persistent office chatter. Placing large plants in custom planter boxes or pots in corners and edges of large rooms brings down the noise and livens up the space.
Plants do more than beautify your space. Apart from giving off fresh oxygen, they filter the air of harmful chemicals, act as a noise buffer, keep employees physically and mentally healthy, and sometimes even attract good talent and more clients.
With our diverse range of lightweight, customizable planters, PolyStone Planters will help you maximize the benefits of having plants in your office. Contact us today to know more about our products.