You might be surprised to find an article about plants on a website that specializes in occupational health and safety. Stay with us. Wouldn’t you agree that these days we’re all looking for cheap and effective solutions to the problems that slow us down? Enter, plants.
That’s right, plants have the power to create healthier, happier workplaces. Though it may seem unlikely at first, researchers discovered that the presence of plants in the workspace boosts worker creativity and productivity by an astonishing 40%!
How is this possible? Let’s dive in and explore four of the key benefits of plants in the office.
Stimulate Immune Response
In Japan, if you’re feeling a little rundown, you might be advised to go on a Forest Bathing trip to give your immune system a little pick-me-up. At first glance, this might seem unlikely, but it actually is scientifically proven to be effective.
Researchers in Japan discovered that spending time in the forest increases the activity of natural killer cells in the body. In part, this is due to the action of antimicrobial compounds called phytoncides. Phytoncides are made and released into the air by trees and plants. When we inhale them, they work as a natural stimulant to our immune system. What if you can’t fit in a leisurely walk through the forest between meetings? Fortunately, indoor plants also release these same compounds!
At a time when we’re all concerned about keeping up our immune systems to help stave off the pandemic, every little bit helps!
Life is stressful, especially these days. 2020 marks the first significant increase in general stress levels since the APA began surveying stress levels in 2007.
This study discovered that viewing and interacting with indoor plants helps to reduce both psychological and physiological stress. Working with a plant (as opposed to working with a computer) suppresses the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for creating excitement, whether good or bad) and brings down your blood pressure.
Even just viewing the color green is relaxing and soothing to us. This is why staging rooms before people go on stage or on TV are often painted green.
Clean the Air
This reason to include plants in your workplace is probably less surprising than the first two. With increasing concerns over air during the course of the global pandemic, 2020 was probably a really great year for air purifier sales.
However, what you might not know is that plants can also clean pollutants from the air. This study performed by NASA in a sealed space station found that plants can remove harmful pollutants like VOCs, cigarette smoke, and possibly even radon.
Most of us spend approximately 90% of our time indoors. Unfortunately, the concentration of pollutants indoors can range anywhere from 2 to 5 times higher than outdoors. Of course, this will very much depend on where you or work and the air quality in your home or workplace. However, you can help boost the air quality in both places simply by adding a few decorative indoor plants.
Who knew that prioritizing your health and safety could be so simple and inexpensive?
Enhance Productivity and Creativity
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that plants can increase worker creativity and productivity by 40%. While this seems incredulous, this is exactly what researchers from the University of Exeter found by performing a series of experiments at the Chelsea Flower Show. People were better able to make decisions and demonstrated increased creativity when surrounded by plants.
These days, many people work from home and are facing more challenges than ever when it comes to staying focused. Parents are distracted by kids who are attending school from home and pets are constantly begging for more attention.
Consider redecorating with a few houseplants to help you concentrate better during those blissful moments when you can put your head down and get some work done.
Get Your Best Work Done — With Plants!
The science is in, and decorating your home office or workspace is a no-brainer. With spring upon us here in Ontario, now is the perfect time to make friends with your local greenhouse. Many in the GTA even offer online shopping and curbside pick-up!
Perhaps you’re particular to Chinese Evergreen. Or, maybe you’re more of an Aloe person. Either way, plants are an inexpensive way to have a profoundly positive effect on your physical and mental health.
So, pick your favorites and have a blast redecorating. We’ve just given you a great reason to spend a few dollars on beautiful, soothing, productivity-boosting indoor plants. You’re welcome!