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Plants: Your New Favorite Coworker?

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

The benefits of office plants are quickly becoming common knowledge…

Long dead are the days of the dusty ficus, sequestered to the dimly-lit corners of gray cubicles across America. In general, the popularity of office plants and potted greenery is on the rise and for good reason…

We all know that flora is beneficial to the environment and possibly your marital status (c’mon gentlemen, who hasn’t used a dozen roses to get themselves out of the doghouse, a time or two). But does taking that African Violet you were gifted for your birthday to work with you really make you a better employee?

A variety of research, conducted over the past 25 years, reflects… YES! Greenery in the office can increase positivity, reduce stress and raise productivity levels by surprisingly high rates.

– Well Being: In 1996, a study was conducted asking people working on a computer task to rate how attentive they felt, using a scale of 1 to 5 (1= not at all and 5= very much). In a room where plants were present, people reported feeling more focused and on task than when in a room without them (3.8 vs 3.3, respectively). During a later study from 2008, office workers in spaces with or without interior plants and with or without windows with views of foliage were compared. In buildings without vegetation, whether or not they had views of green spaces, no more than 60% of employees reported feeling “content” or “very happy” while in workplaces with plants but no windows, 69% of people were found to feel those emotions. Of those fortunate enough to have both plants and access to windows with views of plants, 82% stated that they often felt “content” and “very happy”.

– Stress: Office workers were asked to participate in an analysis by Washington State University where their stress levels would be tested during the completion of a typical work task. Randomly, those involved were assigned to do their tasks in rooms when no plants were present or when plants were present and positioned in their peripheral vision. Their systolic blood pressure rose, while they performed said tasks, indicating that it was “stressful”. When the greenery was present, the increase was not as great and the individual’s levels returned to pre-task measurements more quickly than those that were tested without access to foliage.

– Productivity: Productivity was also measured in the computer task evaluation, mentioned above, by tracking the contributor’s reaction time on an assignment that involved visual concentration, mental processing, and manual dexterity. All participants responded significantly faster when plants were present and there was no increase in error rate associated with the faster response. Overall, the reaction time in the presence of greenery was an impressive 12% faster than in the absence of it.

So… What’s the final conclusion? Working in an environment that incorporates plenty of potted plants and flowers will make you a happier, healthier and more accomplished employee. And that’s just science.

Tell your boss.

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For over 45 years, Plant Escape has provided comprehensive plantscaping services to both commercial and residential clients. We craft beautiful and functional interiors and exteriors with tropical plants, greenery, and flowers while maintaining them to the highest standards. We also pride ourselves on being a GREEN company, working to conserve and support wildlife and vegetation with each project.

In combination, our efforts have earned us 45 years worth of awards on both a regional and national level, including the Grand Award for Color Design from the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. Contact us today at 303.584.0496 for a free consultation and estimate for your next plantscaping project.

Article Sources:

Lohr, V.I. 2010 – What are the benefits of plants indoors and why do we react positively to them? Acta Horticulturae 881(2):675-682 Lohr, V.I., Pearson-Mims, C.H., and Goodwin, G.K. 1996. Interior plants may improve worker productivity and reduce stress in a windowless environment. J. Environ Hort. 14:97-100. Dravigne, A., Waliczek, T.M., Lineberger, R.D. and Zajicek, J.M. 2008. The effect of live plants and window views of green spaces on perceptions of job satisfaction. HortSci. 43:183-187.

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