Studies on the Benefit of Greenery in the Workplace


There are several reasons to consider adding greenery to your workplace. Some are quite apparent but there may also be other benefits that you were not aware of. Look below at some of the learning resources we have provided that list numerous reasons why plant life in the workplace is good for you, your company and your employees.


Aesthetics

The inherent natural beauty of interior office plants has consistently been the number one return on interior plant investment.

In the 2001 BOMA/CEL Tenant Satisfaction “A-List Award” (Building Owners and Managers Association), “appearance and condition of the property” is a top category of evaluation among tenants. Similarly, studies out of England’s Oxford Brookes University reinforce that while indoor plants continue to cost less than most alternative corporate decor choices, they offer a guarantee of positively enhancing perception and contributing to well being. The same set of studies conclude that people (clients or employees) perceive a building with interior planting as more expensive- looking, more welcoming and more relaxed.

Additionally, the studies also showed that perceptions of a building were less positive in the absence of plants.


Productivity

A study from the University of Queensland in Australia has concluded that an office ornamented with plantlife can actually increase employee productivity by as much as 15 percent.

“A green office communicates to employees that their employer cares about them and their welfare,” said the study’s co-author, Alex Haslam, a psychology professor. “Office landscaping helps the workplace become a more enjoyable, comfortable and profitable place to be.”


Stress Relief

Introducing greenery into your working enviornment reduces stress. A study conducted in 2010 showed significant reductions in stress levels when plant life was introduced into the working enviornment, including:

  • Tension/Anxiety – 37% reduction
  • Depression/Dejection – 58% reduction
  • Anger/Hostility – 44% reduction
  • Fatigue – 38% reduction

Health

While researching the ability of plants to cleanse air in space stations, NASA made some fascinating and important discoveries concerning the role that interior plants play here on Earth. They tested the ability of a variety of plants to remove common volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. The toxins tested include:

  • benzene:
    • Found in petroleum-based indoor coatings, gasoline, inks, oils, paints, plastics, rubber, cleaning solutions, plastics, and exterior exhaust fumes emanating into buildings;
    • Irritant and probable carcinogen. Inhalation of benzene has been reported to cause dizziness, weakness, euphoria, headache, nausea, blurred vision, respiratory diseases, tremors, irregular heartbeat, liver and kidney damage, paralysis and unconsciousness.
  • trichloroethylene (TCE):
    • Found in a wide variety of products, such as inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes and adhesives;
    • Potent liver carcinogen.
  • formaldehyde:
    • Found in virtually all indoor environments due to its widespread use in many kinds of products.
    • Formaldeyde causes watery eyes, nausea and wheezing. More seriously, the chemical is classified as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
  • toluene:
    • Found in adhesives, disinfectants, rubber, printing ink, lacquers, and leather tanners;
    • Symptoms in low doses include sleepiness, confusion, weakness, memory loss, nausea, loss of appetite, and hearing and color-vision loss. High levels of toluene may cause light-headedness, unconsciousness, and death.