The first long-term study on the impact of keeping plants in the office has found they help convince workers their bosses care for them.
Work getting you down? Feel like the boss doesn’t love you? A pretty peace lily perched on your desk could be the answer.
A Queensland researcher who has just completed the first long-term study on the impacts of plants in the office has found they make staff happier and can boost productivity by 15 per cent.
Offices enriched with plants also help workers feel their bosses care about them, as well as improve feelings of satisfaction and overall quality of life.
University of Queensland researcher Alex Haslam, who co-authored the study, says plants help create a caring environment that workers respond to.
“A green office communicates to employees that their employer cares about them and their welfare,” said Prof Haslam, from the School of Psychology.
“Employees from previously lean office environments experienced increased levels of happiness, resulting in a more effective workplace.”
Researchers looked at the impact of “lean” versus “green” office spaces on employees from two large commercial offices in the UK and The Netherlands.
Staff productivity levels were monitored over a two-month period, and employees were surveyed to determine perceptions of air quality, concentration and workplace satisfaction.
“Employees were more satisfied with their workplace and reported increased concentration levels and better perceived air quality in an office with plants,” Prof Haslam said.
“The findings suggest that investing in landscaping an office will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity.”
The study was conducted in partnership with researchers from Cardiff University, the University of Exeter and the University of Groningen, and the results have been published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.