Studies to support the facts that plants keep us healthier at work are plentiful.
Here are just a couple of examples to give you a taster
The following is from the University of Agriculture, Norway
Indoor plants can reduce fatigue, coughs, sore throats and other cold related illnesses by more than 30%.
Dr Tove Fjeld and her team of researchers conducted a series of studies to work out whether the presence of living indoor plants could improve office workers’ health and reduce incidents of minor illnesses and ailments. Each member of staff placed commonly-used plants in their office for approximately three months. The staff member was then required to complete a questionnaire across various stages of the research period.
The key findings highlighted that complaints regarding coughs and fatigue were reduced by a
massive 37% and 30% respectively,
and hoarse throat and dry or itching facial skin each decreased approximately 23%.
So what are the effects of this on business?
- With less absenteeism giving better continuity at work
- Temporary staffing costs dropping
- Existing staff become healthier and happier
- Creating more productive staff.
There is only one result and that is that the business saves money
But, not only do plants clean the air and look beautiful – research shows us that they greatly improve our psychological health and wellbeing.
Offices devoid of distractions like plants are “the most toxic space” you can put a human into, so say psychologists whose published paper says workers perform better when plants are added to workplaces.
Dr Chris Knight from Exeter University and his fellow psychologists, who have been studying the issue for 10 years, concluded that employees were 15% more productive when “lean” workplaces are filled with just a few plants, as employees who actively engage with their surroundings are better workers.
Collaborating with academics from four universities in Australia, the UK and the Netherlands, Knight said he had wondered for years why the fashion for Spartan offices has been so dominating in the business world. “if you put an ant into a ‘lean’ jam jar, or a gorilla in a zoo in to a ‘lean’ cage –they are miserable beasties,” he said. People in “lean” offices are no different, he added.
For a year and a half, his colleagues have visited workplaces including a call centre in the Netherlands and a large City auditor in London to show how a splash of greenery could rapidly improve performance. The City auditors had spent a lot of money on their office – expensive desks… banners that were just to do with the company. it was a beautifully sparse environment. The call centre was similarly stripped bare. Knight said some companies he knew of had even taken to fixing computer keyboards to desks and taping down staplers to ensure tidy lines of sight. Yet when plants were brought into the offices, employee performance on memory retention and other basic tests improved substantially. “What was important was that everybody could see a plant from their desk.. “If you are working in an environment where there’s something to get you psychologically engaged you are happier and you work better,” Knight said. We hope that this 18 month project – the first of its kind carried out in functioning offices will bury the lean office practice and encourage people to put plants in offices.
This research carried out really questions the widespread conviction that less is more.
But you know, sometimes less is just less.
There is far too much information and research around the subject of healthy offices for this website to offer but we hope this has given a taster into understanding the genuine necessity for plants in offices, not only for the good of the staff but of the business too.
London Botanical can bring these benefits to your company – by creating happier healthier and more productive staff, both the company and the staff will prosper – let’s go green.