When you think of what every workplace needs, you would be forgiven for missing plants off the list of essentials. However, research has shown that potted plants and greenery in your office can do wonders for employee satisfaction, productivity and stress levels. So, here’s 7 reasons why your next business investment should be of the leafy variety…
Offices are notoriously a variety of grey and greyer shades. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with the colour grey, a few shades of green can make all the difference. Not only will it visually enhance the space – making for a more appealing experience for visiting clients /customers – but shades of green also instil a meditative experience. The overall look and feel of your office equally promotes a positive brand image. Visually speaking, plants are a no brainer.
Recent studies have shown that having plants in the workplace can actually lower the blood pressure of employees. Not only this, but psychologists have found that the addition of perennials actually increased productivity amongst workers and made them feel more attentive! Less stress and more work sounds like a good result to us.
Here’s a scary fact for you – the air in a modern office can contain up to 10 times more pollutants than the air outside. Plants and flowers can help to improve the air quality by removing these pollutants and they will also stabilise the humidity levels. Adding a bit of greenery has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of SBS – sick building syndrome. SBS is a name for a condition that’s thought to be caused by being in a building or other type of enclosed space. It’s attributed to poor indoor air quality. Symptoms of SBS include headache; eye, nose, or throat irritation; dry cough; dry or itchy skin; dizziness and nausea; difficulty in concentrating; fatigue; and sensitivity to odours. Eliminating these symptoms simply with the addition of plants is an easy win!
Reduce Noise Levels
Loud noises in an office can be distracting to employees, and plants have the ability to change the acoustics of a room by reducing reverberation. Not only this, but they can also absorb excessive noise. Rough bark and thick, fleshy leaves are particularly effective at absorbing sound with their dynamic surface areas. We would recommend a fern plant!
Reduce Absence Rates
Now for all you sceptics who are thinking that this all sounds like a load of rubbish – here’s a couple of stats that might impress you. In a recent study which compared two offices (one with the addition of plants, the other without), after a few weeks, the employees in the green space office scored 15% higher in general wellbeing and… wait for it… enjoyed a 25% decrease in fatigue! When you consider that 1 in 6 of employees who call in sick when they’re not actually ill, do so because of tiredness – that 25% decrease starts sounding pretty impressive.
The employees in the same study as above also saw a 15% increase in creativity levels. According to scientists, looking at nature can shift the brain into a different processing mode which can get the creative juices flowing and light bulb moments pinging! Nature also promotes relaxation and concentration.
And finally, a really simple fact. The biophilia hypothesis suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. Biophilic experiences can reduce stress, improve cognitive function, and enhance mood and creativity (as we’ve just said!). These and other outcomes can increase health and wellbeing, as well as productivity.
Okay, I’m sold… what plant should I buy?
Now, we’re not experts in plants, we’re experts in cleaning – so for this, we turned to House Beautiful.
This is a good option if you’re a novice and scared of failing to keep your plant alive. They thrive in natural light and only have to be watered once a week!
These guys don’t even need soil. All you have to do to water them is dunk them in water for two or three hours every 10 days.
This one is super easy to look after. Also known as devils ivy, it can tolerate the darkest desks and the brightest, window-filled offices with ease, and will still survive when you forgot to water it every once in a while.
These plants only require medium light for a few hours every day, so they can sit just about anywhere in your office.
Another guy that doesn’t panic if you forget to water him! Besides providing pretty decoration, aloe leaves contain a clear gel that’s a popular home remedy for burns or skin complaints. A win win!
These waxy plants actually store water in their thick leaves. Therefore, they typically only require weekly waterings and enjoy sunlight and dry air.
This “lucky” plant needs very little light, meaning it’s basically made for cube desks. Even better? It’ll give your work space a much-needed Feng Shui boost.
So there you have it! Our definitive guide to the benefits of incorporating plants into your workplace, and our top picks from House Beautiful’s knowledgable list.
Of course, improving employee well being and satisfaction can’t be achieved with plants alone, and having a hygienic and clean work space is the most important first step to the perfect working environment. If you would like to organise a quote for cleaning in your work, please do not hesitate to get in touch.