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For many people, adding plants to an office is very much an afterthought, if it happens at all. However, an increasing amount of evidence suggests introducing a vegetation into your workspace can do much more than just create a pleasant, welcoming environment.

Various studies have shown that office plants can provide a range of benefits, from improving your staff’s mental and physical well-being to boosting their productivity. Here are just some of ways indoor greenery can improve your office:

Stress management

Plants are often claimed to have a calming effect. This has recently been supported by a study performed at the University of Surrey. Through analysing stress indicators, such as skin conductivity, blood pressure and heart rate, it was found that subjects asked to perform a complex task showed reduced signs of stress when working in a plant-filled environment, than one which was vegetation-free. They also returned to a normal, unstressed state faster. It is thought that the calming effects of plants can help reduce all sorts of stress factors, including tension, anxiety, depression, anger and tiredness.

Plants to choose: The bamboo palm (Dypsis lutescens) can significantly increase the humidity levels in an office, which is thought to help workers relax. They require sunny or semi-sunny conditions, so are best used in well-lit offices or where they can be placed by windows. For darker offices, peppermint plants can be a good choice as they need little light, produce attractive flowers and many people find their fragrance soothing.

Productivity

A study by researchers at the University of Exeter discovered that staff making design decisions were 45% more creative and 38% more productive in an environment containing plants, compared to one without. Dr Craig Knight, a psychologist at the university, suggested that part of this effect was due to “improving the psychological well-being” of staff.

Working around plants can also boost workers attentiveness, according to research from Washington State University. The study suggested that attentiveness could be increased by around 10% by introducing plants to a workspace and that people also made decisions faster when in the presence of vegetation. Virginia Lohr, who worked on the study, suggests the results may be due to lower blood pressure and a reduction in mental fatigue.

Plants to choose: Colourful and interesting plants may be more effective at boosting creativity and productivity, so the Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) could be an ideal choice. It does well in low light levels and produces colourful flowers and fruit even without direct sunlight.

Air Quality

Many offices suffer from poor quality air, but whether you’re trapped in a stuffy, dry or dusty office, a good selection of plants can make a serious impact.

A report by the University of Hawai’i atMānoa found plants can help remove potentially toxic volatile organic compounds from the air, as well increasingly humidity (which is supposed to help people relax) and reducing the amount of dust floating around (which you ultimately inhale). Lots of dust in the air is also bad news for computers, as it tends to get sucked in by their fans and can ultimately block the fan and clog components, leading to the potential for faults.

Of course, one of the most obvious benefits of plants in an office is their ability to covert carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen. Not only does this result in air that feels fresher, decreased CO2 and increase oxygen levels can reduce feelings of tiredness and increase mental alertness.

Plants to choose: The University of Hawai’i report suggests spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) and peace lilies (Spathiphyllum varieties) are both highly effective air cleaners that do well in the kind of low light conditions found in many offices.

General advice

Of course, in order to reap all the benefits of an office full of plants, you’ll need to give them a bit of care and attention. Making sure they’ve got the right amount of light and keeping them feed and watered is vital, so make sure you get some advice from your plant supplier before installing your new vegetation. After all, a brown, dried up pot plant buried behind a mound of paper work won’t do you or your employees much good.

If you’re ready to rethink your workspace, Gazelle can help. We are one of the top office design specialists in Bristol and can help you create the working environment you and your employees deserve. To find out what we could do for you, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us or give us a call on0117 955 3668

CONTACT US

Gazelle Office Furniture
208-212 Lawrence Hill
Bristol
England
BS5 0DR
Tel: +44 (0)117 955 3668
Email: info@gazelleoffice.co.uk

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