The Advantages of Plants in the Workplace

Plants in the workplace improve productivity, health and general well-being.
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Plants are essential to life on earth and are especially important to humans. They provide shade and nourishment, and they go into making fuel, clothing and shelter. They brighten homes and gardens and delight people with their colors and form. Plants also have psychological benefits, lifting people's moods and general well-being. It is no surprise that plants improve the creativity, focus, motivation and health of employees in the workplace, as well.

Reduce Stress and Improve Productivity

    Plants reduce stress. This is particularly true in demanding workplaces and those without windows and views of natural landscapes. Being in a workplace with plants improves mood and performance, according to researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden. Sometimes, it takes no more than a glance at a plant’s comforting form to calm a worker's nerves. Plants improve productivity. Research at Washington State University revealed that employees were 12 percent more productive at timed computer tasks when they worked in rooms with plants compared to rooms without them.

Improve Workplace Aesthetics

    Indoor plants pretty-up drab workplaces. They add accent colors and bring otherwise ignored corners to life. Plants with bold, bright flowers increase contrast and have a high visual impact. Those with plainer colors and prostrate forms bring on a more calming effect. Potted and hanging plants with artistically crafted pots also add to a room's decor.

Remove Odors

    Plants remove noxious and unpleasant odors. They serve as living air purifiers by absorbing and masking unpleasant workplace smells. Popular fragrant plant types that infuse workplaces with pleasing scents include gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides), string-of-beads (Senecio rowleyanus), wax plant (Hoya), hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) and pink jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum).

Physiological Benefits

    Plants have several physiological benefits. They remove harmful toxins, airborne bacteria and volatile organic compounds, and thus improve air quality. They also absorb carbon dioxide -- high levels of which cause drowsiness --allowing workers to concentrate better. The presence of plants also reduces dry throats, fatigue, dry skin, coughs and headaches among workers. The best air-purifying indoor plants for workplaces include the Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), Lady palm (Rhapis excelsa), Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii), waxy leaved plant (Hoya carnosa), rubber plant (Ficus robusta), English ivy (Hedera helix), ficus alii (or Ficus macleilandii), Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus) and the peace lilly (Spathiphyllum sp.).

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