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Interior plants offer businesses a simultaneously natural and beautiful addition to their interior while benefiting the overall well-being of employees. Many people have heard about the benefits of plants in the office: they filter toxins, giving us cleaner, more breathable air. This means better breathing, which leads to less stress and improved focus. However, the right office plants can do far more than this. By incorporating plant life into the design of your space, your staff will be able to enjoy nature’s beauty and the many physical and psychological benefits of office plants.
- They clean the air: Modern office buildings, with predominantly sealed air, can contain up to ten times more pollutants than the air outside. Common toxic culprits found in the office such as mold, formaldehyde, dust mites, carbon monoxide and chemical cleaning agents. Plants in the office improve air quality by removing harmful pollutants. Plants also stabilize humidity levels. Indoor plants have also been shown to reduce the symptoms of “sick building syndrome” or SBS.
- They help to reduce noise levels: By absorbing sounds (rather than insulating against noise pollution), plants help to reduce the distracting effects of background office chatter. Positioning larger plant pots, in multiple locations in the edges and corners of a room has the great positive benefit, according to a 1995 paper by researchers at London South Bank University.Plants are commonly used to reduce noise pollution along highways and interstates. Using the same concept, plants in the workplace change room acoustics by reducing reverberation time. Plants placed in areas with hard surfaces such as hardwood floors, concrete and marble walls, will effectively absorb noises which can be distracting and hurt employee productivity.
- They help to reduce stress: A number of studies have been conducted that indicate indoor plants can reduce stress levels in work environments. Washington State University researchers found that study participants’ blood pressure levels were lower when plants were present in the interior. Study participants also reported feeling more attentive in the room containing plants. Multiple other studies have produced evidence that stress levels are reduced by the presence of plants and even improve productivity among office workers.
- They can boost creativity: The 2015 Human Spaces report also found that employees whose offices included natural elements scored 15% higher for creativity than those whose offices didn’t include such elements.Attention restoration theory suggests that looking at nature – and even just images of nature – can shift the brain into a different processing mode, making employees feel more relaxed and better able to concentrate.
- They help to increase productivity: Employees’ productivity jumps 15% when previously ‘lean’ work environments are filled with just a handful of houseplants, according to 2014 research by the University of Exeter. Adding just one plant per square metre improved memory retention and helped employees score higher on other basic tests, said researcher Dr Chris Knight.“What was important was that everybody could see a plant from their desk,” Knight told The Guardian. “If you are working in an environment where there’s something to get you psychologically engaged you are happier and you work better.”
- They help to reduce sickness and absence rates: The 2015 Human Spaces report, which studied 7,600 offices workers in 16 countries, found that nearly two-thirds (58%) of workers have no live plants in their workspaces. Those whose environments incorporated natural elements reported a 15% higher wellbeing score and a 6% higher productivity score than employees whose offices didn’t include such elements.Some experts argue that adding plants to the work environment can help to reduce the risk of sick building syndrome, although evidence to back up these claims is hard to come by.
- Aesthetic appeal: may not seem like one of the hidden benefits of plants in the office, but people don’t always appreciate the importance of visuals in an office setting. Healthy plants give the impression of a nurturing company that is adept at helping things thrive. This is reassuring for customers and even better for potential clients.
- Biophilia – the need for nature: Human beings have a natural tie to nature and an innate desire to be outside. Having plants in the workplace provides us with the connection to nature that we subconsciously crave. Plants are also a reminder of the importance of green living, and they may encourage your employees to be
- Humidity Control: Dehydration leads to discomfort, fatigue, and poor concentration. Indoor plants work to keep humidity at optimal levels, improving employee hydration and helping everyone to be more comfortable.
- Feelings of Well-being and Relaxation: Color therapists agree that most shades of green lead to feelings of well-being and relaxation. This is why live performance theaters have “green rooms” where performers relax before hitting the stage. Likewise, relaxed employees are more focused and less likely to make mistakes.
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