When it comes to productivity, foliage beats a clear desk

22 September 2014

A new, groundbreaking study has shown that plants can significantly increase productivity.

Research carried out by academics from the Universities of Exeter, Cardiff, Groningen in The Netherlands, and Queensland, Australia, showed that people were 15 per cent more productive in offices with greenery compared to a workplace with a minimalist, or ‘lean’ décor.

The study was carried out in two offices in the UK and The Netherlands over a two-month period, and, the research team claims, is the first to study the longer-term effects of plants in a real office.

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

This seems to be because plants are able to make people more engaged in their work, physically, cognitively and emotionally.

As Marlon Nieuwenhuis, lead researcher from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, explains:

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.

“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.

For more information on the study click here.

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