The benefits of desk plants in the workplace seem obvious. However, as research in this area increases, there is now proof of the health and productivity benefits. Providing desk plants for workers is no longer just a “nice touch”. It is an important part of creating a healthy workplace.
Desk plants improve indoor air quality in the workplace. They do this by removing air pollutants known as volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). These VOC’s come from plastic material in furniture, fittings, computers and printers.
Desk plants also remove carbon dioxide from the indoor workplace, and release oxygen into the indoor air.
VOC’s are known to cause headaches, loss of concentration and eye, nose and throat problems. These symptoms are sometimes linked to “Sick Building Syndrome”.
Too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen in an indoor work space has been linked to drowsiness and lowered concentration.
How fantastic it is to think that all of these problems can be avoided by giving employees simple desk plants!
A recent research article, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied in September 2014, provides proof of the health benefits of plants in the office. The article, titled “The relative benefits of green versus lean office space” describes 3 large experiments in large commercial offices in the Netherlands and the UK. The experiments measured air quality, concentration, workplace satisfaction and objective measures of productivity. In all experiments these outcomes were better when plants were used in the workplace. This research is solid evidence of the importance of using plants in an office.
Other recent proof of the effect of desk plants on office worker health and well-being includes:
- “The effect of indoor plants on human comfort“, by several university’s in Shanghai, China, published in Indoor and Built Environment in August 2014
- “Psychological benefits of Indoor Plants in Workplaces“, published in HortScience in June 2007
- “Benefits of indoor plants on attention capacity in an office setting“, published in Journal of Experimental Psychology in March 2011
- “Indoor plants may improve worker productivity“, published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture in 1996
These research papers, along with many others, prove that desk plants have a direct impact on workers in an office space with regards to:
- Improved indoor air quality
- Reduced stress levels
- Increased productivity
- Increased comfort
There is now proof, through strong research, that desk plants benefit both employees and employers. Isn’t it time you ordered some desk plants for your office space?