Being tethered to a desk at work for hours can suck the energy out of your day. In the race to find ways to increase employee productivity and create an optimal work environment, plants provide a solution. After giving a living plant to each of their employees, one Canadian employer saw productivity increase 30%. Unbelievably, science explains why plant power is what employees need to energize their day at work.
What A Little Green Can Do
Adding some greenery to the office space isn’t solely about décor, there are health benefits too. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Services, plants help keep the indoor air cleaner, which promotes improved cognitive thinking. Paint, furniture, cleaners, and other typical things in an office space can release toxic compounds into the air, contributing to fuzzy thinking. Rubber plants, snake plants, and bamboo palms are optimal for removing unwanted volatile compounds from indoor air and add visual appeal.
When employees see greenery around the office, they experience reduced stress levels, an improved mood, and their focus increases. Companies seeking to improve employee morale and productivity include planter boxes, indoor trees, and other pleasant natural elements to encourage well-being and positive vibes. Research has shown that looking at plants stimulates the brain to shift into a more relaxed mode. A well-designed office space that allows for adequate light and plants are beneficial to a company’s bottom line.
The Human Plant Connection
According to the concept of biophilia, humans may have an innate need to be around nature. Despite the typical fast-paced, technology connected, modern lives that people lead, nature is a vital part of society. When people are engaged in their modern lifestyle, they fully immerse their frontal lobe. Exposure to nature helps deactivate a hyper-active frontal lobe, encourages happiness, and stimulates creativity.
Online Reddit, user arbaminim had this to say about plants in the workplace, “I’d be interested to know how much of the benefit would still be there if the plants were fake.” User Nickerdos responded, “My aloe plant does wonders to my productively.” Monolisa on Reddit chimed in, “A coworker of mine gave me some spider plant babies and they immediately died. But I’ve had a pothos plant in my cube for a while and it’s going strong!”
Practical Productivity Solutions
Companies spend a lot of time musing over how much time and money is lost when employees are unhappy, disengaged, or out sick. Billions of dollars are lost annually due to problems with productivity, so effective solutions are integral to profits and expansion. Money is invested in team building, developing an interactive and inclusive office culture, and extracurricular activities to promote productivity. Adding plants to a workplace is an economical and environmentally-sound solution that is scientifically proven to boost productivity. Mike Robinson, the owner of Canadian firm WeatherSolve Structures, had a savvy suggestion from his wife. She suggested that Mike give every employee at his firm a plant to place atop their desk.
Each employee got to “speed date” all of the available plants to find the perfect match. The results were pretty incredible, as Mike discovered that each staff member was doing about 30% more business. On top of improved metrics, Mr. Robinson was happy to report that the plants were doing well after five years of being introduced. All of the employees surprisingly had naturally green thumbs and responded well to their new desk partners. Employees received their plants with smart name tags with “My name is…” on the label to foster a fantastic relationship. Adding plants and greenery to the workplace is a positive benefit for everyone involved.
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