Add a touch of green to your productivity levels

Businesses that add plants and greenery to its offices are more likely to experience higher productivity levels, according to the results of a recent study.

Across two months at large commercial offices in the UK and The Netherlands, Cardiff University researchers monitored the impact of green offices over 'lean' designs where plants are absent. This included the perception of air quality, concentration and workplace satisfaction. 

Based on the results, researchers found an office that had plants and greenery could increase employee productivity by 15 per cent. Employees believed because there was plants around the workplace, air quality had increased and it was easier to concentrate and be satisfied.

Lead researcher Marlon Nieuwenhuis, from Cardiff University's School of Psychology, explained an investment in plants will pay off in the long term.

"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," he said.

"It directly challenges the widely accepted business philosophy that a lean office with clean desks is more productive."

The belief is that a green office full of plants can increase engagement as employees are more physically, cognitively, and emotionally connected to their work.

Head of Innovation at interior landscaping company Ambius, Kenneth Freeman, who was involved in the study, said research already suggests plants can lower stress and increase attention span, but this study goes beyond this.

"But this is the first long term experiment carried out in a real-life situation which shows that bringing plants into offices can improve well-being and make people feel happier at work," he said.

"Businesses should rethink their lean processes, not only for the health of the employees, but for the financial health of the organisation."

As well as adding a touch of green to offices, business owners looking to increase their overall productivity could invest in productivity software, which is designed to streamline services and make businesses more competitive in the market.

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