Desk Plants Make People Happier & More Productive

Desk Plants Make People Happier & More Productive

Sep 08

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CAN A PLANT ON YOUR DESK BOOST PRODUCTIVITY?
By Tomas Barrett-Cardiff
Futurity
September 5, 2014

Original Link

Offices with plants make employees happier and more productive than those without greenery, a new study shows.

“Our research suggests that investing in landscaping the office with plants will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity,” says lead researcher Marlon Nieuwenhuis of the Cardiff University School of Psychology.

“Although previous laboratory research pointed in this direction, our research is, to our knowledge, the first to examine this in real offices, showing benefits over the long term. It directly challenges the widely accepted business philosophy that a lean office with clean desks is more productive.”

The research showed plants in the office significantly increased workplace satisfaction, self-reported levels of concentration, and perceived air quality.

“Simply enriching a previously Spartan space with plants served to increase productivity by 15 percent—a figure that aligns closely with findings in previously conducted laboratory studies,” says Nieuwenhuis.

Analysis into the reasons why plants are beneficial suggests that a green office increases employees’ work engagement by making them more physically, cognitively, and emotionally involved in their work.

The research took place in two commercial offices in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

“Psychologically manipulating real workplaces and real jobs adds new depth to our understanding of what is right and what is wrong with existing workspace design and management,” says coauthor Craig Knight of the University of Exeter. “We are now developing a template for a genuinely smart office.”

Coauthor Alex Haslam of the University of Queensland adds, “Our research questions this widespread conviction that less is more. Sometimes less is just less.”

The findings appear in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

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