Boost Your Brain at Work with This Simple Plant Trick

In the quest for a happier, more productive work environment, there’s a simple, non-electronic addition you can make to your workspace that’s backed by research in Europe. The secret: green plants.

A recent study shows that having a plant in your office can increase your workplace satisfaction, concentration levels, and even make your air seem more invigorating. This straightforward addition to your desk can result in a 15% increase in productivity. Carried out in large office buildings in England and Netherlands, the research aims to challenge the widely accepted “lean office” model of clean desks and minimalism.

The Power of Green

Marlon Nieuwenhuis, a researcher from the Cardiff University School of Psychology in Wales, explains that “investing in landscaping the office with plants will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity.” Although previous laboratory research pointed in this direction, Nieuwenhuis’ study is the first to examine this in real offices, showing benefits over the long term.

The reasoning behind the plants’ positive effect on productivity lies in their capacity to make workers more emotionally, physically, and cognitively involved in their work. Simply adding a plant to a previously Spartan space served to increase productivity levels by 15%, a figure that aligns closely with findings in previously conducted laboratory studies.

So why not ditch the old “lean office” management approach, and invest in a greener, more comfortable, and more profitable working environment?

Choosing the Right Office Plant

Not sure what type of plant you should add to your office space? Here are a few suggestions for selecting one that will thrive in an office environment, as well as provide some added benefits:

  1. Snake Plant (Sansevieria): This plant not only thrives in low light conditions but is also known to purify the air by removing toxins. It’s a great option for improving indoor air quality. You can learn more about its air-cleaning abilities from NASA’s Clean Air Study.

  2. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): This easy-to-care-for plant also has air-purifying qualities, helping to remove formaldehyde and benzene from the air.

  3. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): Another low-maintenance option, the Golden Pothos can survive in various light conditions, making it perfect for an office. It’s also known for its air-purifying properties.

  4. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum): The Peace Lily requires minimal sunlight and care, and it’s also fantastic at purifying indoor air. It’s even been recognized by NASA for its ability to remove pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air.

Creating a Green Haven

To maximize the benefits of having office plants, consider creating a small green space in your workplace where employees can take breaks or work away from their desks. The relaxing ambiance of a “green haven” can promote mindfulness, inspiration, and rejuvenation, ultimately increasing productivity throughout the workday.

If you’re limited by the size of your workspace, try incorporating hanging plants or installing shelves for a vertical garden. This innovative approach allows you to maximize the use of wall space without sacrificing precious desk or floor space.

In conclusion, adding green plants to your office space doesn’t just enhance the aesthetic appeal of your work environment. It directly boosts productivity and overall quality of life—the perfect combination for a happier, more effective workplace. Say goodbye to the lean office model, and welcome a new path to a more enjoyable, more comfortable, and more profitable form of office-based working.