Employee Wellness: 4 Benefits of Having Plants in Your Workspace
Since returning to the office post Covid-lockdown, many companies have been embracing the biophilic design for their employees. Biophilia is a term used to describe a human tendency to interact or have a natural pleasure that comes from being surrounded by living organisms.
Nature-inspired workspaces are shown to be beneficial to employees. Whether you are working from home or the office, having some greenery in your workspace can help improve your productivity and well-being. Let’s take a closer look at how and why:
1. Reduces work-related stress
Having plants in the workspace has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. A study showed that having plants in an office can stimulate being in nature because of the added greenery. The shades of green from plants have been known to promote a sense of relaxation and tranquility. A study measured the heart rates of participants that were tasked to sit at their desk for two 3-minutes phases. The first phase had no plant on the desk, and the second phase had a plant on the desk. The study showed that the participant's heart rates measured lowered when a plant was on their desk. Having a plant to gaze on, whether its intentional or not, at work help to reduce stress and anxiety.
2. Increases productivity and creativity
It’s been shown that when employees can engage with their environment, they have greater work output and ability to stay focused. As stated previously, plants stimulate a natural environment, and the tranquil feeling helps to improve cognitive function which encourages work engagement. The aesthetics help to minimize distractions that would be occupying the mind. The colors and the scents of the plants help to activate our senses and allow for creativity and the flow of ideas to be aroused.
3. Concentration and memory
Plants in the workplace give off a calming influence, which helps to increase concentration and memory. One study showed that being outside or being in an environment with nature helped to increase memory retention by 20%. It is said that plants are natural air purifiers and by absorbing the carbon dioxide in the air, they can help to combat headaches and fatigue.
4. Absorbs background noise
80% of office workers have said that office noise is an issue with work productivity and staying on task. Plants are here to help! Plants have an acoustic benefit that enables them to absorb up to 50% of the sound energy in a space. Plants can deflect sound waves, absorb sounds, and refract echoes. Some considerations are the type of plants, the size, and their placement in the workspace. For work environments with hard walking surfaces or thick walls, larger plants are ideally placed in the corners. The larger the plant leaves, the more surface area it has to absorb noise and help with concentration.
The Bottom Line
Having plants in your workspace can improve your work environment and work productivity. Biophilic designs are being considered in a lot of companies because they support mental health, cognitive function and overall well-being. If your company doesn’t have this type of design, purchase some plants for your workspace and reap the benefits of having nature in your space. Research which office plants go with your personality, how to care for it, and go for it!
Learn more about healthy work environments and other wellness programs offered by Wellness Workdays.
Written by Diana Bravo, Wellness Workdays Intern