What once began as an interesting topic for plant people to chew on has taken root in serious science. There is proof working in an environment with plants provides multiple benefits.
At last we can measure what I have experienced for years: Plants make good sense in many ways. We can link working in plant filled environments to cleaner air, better health and increased productivity. Let’s look at each of these benefits in more detail.
Cleaner Air: When plants transpire water vapor from their leaves, they pull air down around their roots. This supplies their root microbes with oxygen. The root microbes also convert other substances in the air (such as toxic chemicals) into a source of food and energy. Early data published by Dr. Bill Wolverton (who I have met and greatly admire) tells us that several common species of interior landscape plants have the ability to remove compounds such as formaldahyde, benzene, and hexane in the range of 50 to 75 percent of the total volatile organic compounds.
Dr. Margaret Burchett, an internationally respected air quality researcher, states “It is expected that indoor plants will become standard technology, a vital building installation element for improving indoor air quality.”
Improved Health: Working in an environment that includes plants reduces carbon dioxide levels and lowers stress. People want to go to work in a healthy environment. Long-term benefits include increased productivity and reduced health care costs.
In a study done by Dr. Virginia Lohr of Washington State University, common house plants were used to measure stress levels in employees at workstations. Participants working in an environment with plants present were 12 percent more productive and less stressed than their non-plant counterparts.
Increased Productivity: Plants and flowers inspire our creativity.
In an eight-month study, a Texas A&M University research team explored the link between flowers and plants and productivity. Participants were given a number of creative problem-solving tests in a variety of office environments. The conditions included a workspace with flowers and plants, a setting with a sculpture and an area with no decorative embellishments.
During the study, both men and women demonstrated more innovative thinking, generating more ideas and original solutions to problems in the office environment that included flowers and plants.
Science has spoken. Are we listening? Plants and flowers make good partners for the air, our health and bottom line productivity. Most importantly, they make us feel good!
How do you make science work smarter for you? An easy fix for any office: add some plants to the environment and make them an important part of the company mix. Then sit back and enjoy the natural beauty and watch for some amazing benefits.
Good Earth Plants can help you with a healthy and beautiful addition of green plants! Call us at 858-576-9300. We’ll be happy to show you how easy and beneficial plants can be in your office.