22nd Apr 2020

5 Reasons Office Plants Boost Wellbeing: G is for Greenery

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Office plants have become all the rage in recent years. Not least because of the lease of life they can add to otherwise lifeless office spaces. So how do they boost wellbeing?

In our A-Z of workplace wellbeing, G is for Greenery. Because as well as looking beautiful, adding a bit of greenery to your workplace supports your peoples’ wellbeing in more ways than you may realise.

Here are our top five benefits of having plants in the office!

1. Plants are mood-boosters

We’ve all experienced it; someone’s having a rough day and the mood seems to infiltrate the rest of the team. Of course, you should look to resolve any underlying issues first and foremost, but plants can help to reduce bad vibes.

Participants in a research project conducted way back in 1998 reported “higher levels of mood” with plants around. And a more recent 2010 study concluded the same – that being surrounded by greenery improves peoples’ self-esteem and mood.

Tip: Place potted plants in high-traffic areas and meeting spaces around your office to increase your teams’ exposure to greenery. There are clever ways to add them to workspaces too, like the planters we installed in our fit out for rg+p Architects in Leicester.

2. Plants clean the air we breathe

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air pollution indoors is often between two and five times greater than outdoors. Toxins and chemicals can be released into office environments in small doses by anything from paint to carpet fibres.

A study by NASA revealed that “Low-light-requiring houseplants… demonstrated the potential for improving indoor air quality by removing trace organic pollutants from the air.” Great news!

Which plants came out on top? Well, the Florist’s Chrysanthemum and Peace Lily were among the best air-purifying plants in NASA’s study. Others to add to your office plant shopping list include the snake plant, spider plant and English ivy.

Tip: The good news is many of these plants require low maintenance so are nice and easy to look after! Snake plants especially need very little light and water, so that’s a good one to start with If you’re looking for the best plants for your desk.

3. Greenery improves workplace productivity

Increasing workplace productivity is top of the list for businesses looking to make improvements to the way they work.

Several studies on this topic have found that plants in the office increase productivity and improve wellbeing too (more on wellbeing later). Self-perceptions of performance and objective measures of productivity both increased in spaces enriched by plants.

4. Office plants spark creativity

The ‘Global Impact of Biophilic Design’ analysed research on the effects of biophilic design in offices in 16 countries around the world. It turns out that people working in offices with greenery and sunlight are 15% more creative!

On the flipside, having no window at all (which a whopping 47% of people reported) had a significant negative effect on employee creativity.

Tip: The report mentions that “poorly-lit environments that lack colour and nature elements dampen creativity”. Lighting and other biophilic elements aside from office plants will help tackle this by sparking creativity in your people.

5. Plants improve overall wellbeing

Productivity, creativity and air purity of course relate to overall wellbeing, but ultimately plants are wellbeing-boosters because of human’s innate need to be connected to nature.

A visible connection to nature alone reduces stress, itself a core factor in improving wellbeing. In fact, the global study we just spoke about found that workers in office environments with plants and sunlight report a 15% higher level of wellbeing!

An increase of this level really does show that considering office plants and other biophilic elements in your office design can have a huge impact on the wellbeing of your team.

Office design with purpose

The very act of providing a purpose-designed workplace for employees can boost perceptions of value and support, and have a positive impact on wellbeing.

We provide workplace consultancy services to help you design a space with purpose, and office plants are just one piece of the puzzle.

Get in touch for a chat with our team about how your office design can support your team’s needs.


Chloe Sproston

Creative Director