Leafy Powerhouses: The Benefits of Plants in the Workspace.

It’s hard to disagree that having a few potted plants dotted around makes the space look and feel more open and vibrant, though plants provide far more advantages than one would expect. From cleaning the air to boosting productivity and creativity, these leafy powerhouses are an excellent addition to your workspace for a whole host of reasons, 4 of which we’re going to explore below.

  • Plants clean the air:

It’s common knowledge that humans need oxygen to survive, and plants absorb carbon dioxide to aid in the process of photosynthesis, together we’re a match made in heaven!

In 1989, NASA published a report stating that plants acted as a type of air filter helping to absorb pollutants in the air, ultimately improving overall air quality. NASA observed that one potted plant per 100 square feet of the space was enough to effectively filter the air in one corner of a room, making it cleaner to breathe.

More recently, studies have shown that adding plants to the workspace can reduce carbon dioxide levels by about 25% in buildings without air conditioning. The research, conducted by the Plants and Indoor Environmental Quality Research Group, Sydney showed that by introducing a medium sized plant to the room, huge reductions can be made to the air quality and thus potentially enhancing health.

  • Plants can help reduce stress:

Like it or not, stress is part of being a human being and sometimes, its unavoidable. Unavoidable, doesn’t mean to say it’s unmanageable, however. In a study conducted in 2010 by the University of Technology, Sydney, researchers found that plants significantly reduce employee stress when introduced to the workspace. The research highlighted a 37% fall in tension and anxiety, 44% decrease in anger and 38% drop in fatigue.

Additionally, advocates of colour psychology believe that the colour green has a calming effect on human beings as a whole. With this in mind, decorating a workspace with a variety of bold greens could help create a soothing environment, which can promote a whole range of benefits throughout the workspace.  

  • Plants can help absorb background noise:

It’s true that working in busy space with multiple other people can cause no end of noise distractions- especially in offices with large empty spaces. Plants, however, can remedy the noise pollution by absorbing background sounds.

By positioning larger plants in areas around the edges of rooms, the space is cushioned against echoes and reverberating sounds, such as phones and email notifications. Strategically placed foliage not only brightens the workspace, but also means sound can be effectively dulled, allowing for better focus to continue your work without the tinny sound of chatter in the background.

  • Plants boost productivity and creativity:

Living in a fast paced, modern society means we are likely to encounter time constraints and creative obstacles in our day to day lives. Productivity is an important factor in keeping up with a daily routine and as it turns out, plants are an important addition to boosting that all important efficiency whilst keeping you inspired!

A 2014 study published by Exeter University found that people are up to 15% more productive when working in environments which include plants. The research found that people who engage with their surroundings are less stressed and more likely stay focused, which in turn, improves creativity and aids in achieving greater output.

Supporting this study, advocates of Attention Restoration Theory suggest that observing nature can encourage our brains to shift into a different processing mode, promoting a relaxed mindset, allowing for better concentration, and ultimately energising us and our creativity. 

At the House of St John’s, we’re proud to provide a vibrant environment full of plants and flora. From reaping the benefits of cleaner air and less sound pollution, to boosted creativity and productivity, plants are a fail-safe way of elevating your workspace.

Thank you to Bontanica Studios for providing our leafy powerhouses!