Can Adding Plants to your Office or Study Areas actually Improve Productivity and Worker Health?
The short answer is a resounding yes!
But how can simply adding a few leafy green plants around the work space help people get more work done and lead to happier healthier workers?
Benefits of adding plants to your office
Plants help to sharpen focus
Studies have been conducted at the royal college of agriculture Circencester, England and the findings were evident that students were up to 70 percent more attentive when being lectured and taught in environments where plants were present.
A study by the same college also concluded that students were more likely to attend the classes if plants were in the surrounds.
Plants help purify the air
In sterile environments such as office buildings the air is very stagnate and often filled with toxic particles. Plants help to remove these toxins from the air we breathe very efficiently and actually turn these toxins into food for the plant themselves.
These toxic air particles come from everyday objects that surround us in our workplaces like printing inks, paints, rugs and cigarette smoke.
The plants draw in and filter the stagnant air through small openings in their leaves and also trap toxic air by pulling the toxins into the earth surrounding plant where micro-organisms convert these toxins into food for the plant.
They make the air easier to breathe
Our bodies are constantly taking in oxygen when we inhale and expelling carbon dioxide when we exhale. This is the process of human breathing and has kept us alive for millennia. Plants adversely have the opposite procedure, absorbing in carbon dioxide and releasing clean oxygen for us to breathe.
These opposing cycles make plants great partners for humans to have around, constantly complimenting each other in both our breathing patterns.
Things to remember before adding plants
Be mindful when installing plants
Having just one plant on a whole office building level or in one lecture room full of students is not enough to have much of a positive effect on the work and study environment.
So how many plants do you need to have an impact?
As a general rule keep to help improve health and stop fatigue have one moderate to large size plant every 4 square meters and try to position these plants so everyone in the classroom or office has a view of the greenery. Also be mindful when installing or moving plants, especially large pot plants, that you lift with correct posture and if the weight of the plant exceeds 20 kilograms be sure to be wearing the correct safety gear such as steel toe work boots and gloves or you should contact moving professionals and leave the job to them.
Not all plants are equal in how much oxygen they expel and some plants even take oxygen and expel carbon the same as humans. Plants such as orchids and epiphytic bromeliads have this same cycle during the day but are great to have around during the evening and night as their roles reverse and they start to take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night. These species would be ideal for night workers or students who prefer to study during late hours and in the evening.
For the the low cost of a few hundred dollars installing plants will have a large positive impact not only on your workers and students health but can increase productivity and overall moral in the work space. More and more companies are realising that a healthier happier worker is going to produce better results and stay in jobs longer. It only seems natural from an evolutionary point that we should be surrounded by plants as much as possible and the work space should be no exception.
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