The power of plants – how do they influence your workflow?

Most of today’s offices are carefully planned, strictly practical spaces. Sometimes looking almost austere, they are designed to incorporate only the elements of some use for work. Such trend caused plants to be regarded merely as an superfluous element of interior design. But more and more researches show that they can have a huge positive influence on your workflow.

First, some facts.

Want to enhance your workflow? Get yourself a plant! Here are some findings on the subject of plant’s influence on the task performance. A study conducted by the researchers at Washington State University showed that introduction of plants to the windowless workplace made research participants more productive (which was measured by an almost 12% increase in their reaction time). People in the room with plants were also significantly less stressed while performing timed computer task, as their systolic blood pressure readings were lower than of participants in a room without any plants present. They also felt more attentive right after the completion of the task. Quite impressive! It’s even more so considering how little effort plants usually require. If you’re still not sure whether your plant will be able to thrive in the office environment, choose the low-maintenance one — Spider Plant, Lemon Balm, or Pothos.

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Clear air = clear mind.

Indoor plants are capable of more than you would expect. It has been proven that your ordinary potted plant can remove most types of airborne contaminants, including benzene, not to mention they also absorb CO2. It’s important to note that air contaminants can contribute to what’s called “Sick building syndrome” — something you may experience if you suffer from persistent headaches, irritability, or fatigue in the office. It has also been shown that good quality indoor air can shorten the time in which you perform tasks. Are you on your way to the florist’s?

Plants boost your creativity.

Nature has always been perceived as conducive to human’s mood and comfort. This intuition is proved to be right, as the presence of plants in the office can boost your creativity and general well-being — studies have found that a view of nature can generate more diverse response to a creative task. It is understandable if you consider that the environment in which humans lived for thousands of years varied substantially from the glass and steel, sterile buildings they get to function nowadays.

Don’t hesitate and make your office greener with plants! You won’t regret it.

clear cube vases on an office shelf.

Sources:

Lohr, V. I., Pearson-Mims, C. H., & Goodwin, G. K. (1996). Interior plants may improve worker productivity and reduce stress in a windowless environment. Journal of Environmental Horticulture, 14, 97-100.

Orwell, R. L., Wood, R. L., Tarran, J., Torpy, F., & Burchett, M. D. (2004). Removal of benzene by the indoor plant/ substrate microcosm and implications for air quality. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 157, 193-207.

Shibata, S. & Suzuki, N. (2002). Effects of the foliage plant on task performance and mood. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 22, 265-272.