A Green Solution to a Productive Workplace


A Green Solution to a Productive Workplace

Do you want your employees to be more productive, less stressed, and more willing to support one another? The solution to creating a more efficient workplace may be simpler than you might have expected: bring some indoor plants into the office.

Many people agree that potted plants contribute to an overall zen-like environment—just ask your neighbor who practices yoga and has an impressive succulent collection. While it’s true that trees and plants can decrease our blood pressure and help us produce more relaxed brain wave patterns, plants’ benefits go way beyond their soothing capabilities. Simply looking at nature produces amazing effects on the body. For instance, studies have shown that hospital patients recover more quickly when their hospital room offers a view of a garden or trees.

Yes, plants are incredibly powerful.

In the workplace in particular, plants and trees can act as stimulating forces. Employees have reported higher levels of comfort and perceived office attractiveness when plants are present in the workplace. Being comfortable encourages employees to focus on tasks at hand without getting distracted. Potted plants placed on desks can also help spark creativity, allowing your workers to find innovative solutions to daily responsibilities.

Indoor plants can even keep your employees healthy. Plants increase humidity levels and decrease dust particles, making stuffy office spaces easier to breathe in, and making your employees less likely to get sick. Indoor plants also help to remove airborne contaminants that cause headaches and nausea. In fact, studies show that indoor plants can reduce cold-related illnesses by over 30%. Less sick days mean your employees will be more productive (and probably more cheerful).


If you’re looking to take your planting projects to the next level, consider building a garden outside of your workplace where your employees can directly interact with nature. Access to green spaces like gardens has been demonstrated to promote social cohesion and support, foster social empowerment, and even increase interracial interactions. If your office doesn’t have the space or resources to create and maintain a garden, you could organize an office-wide tree-planting project in the local community. Research suggests that such projects allow members to network in a meaningful way while gaining social support from their peers.

But for now, you can start with the basics: create a green work environment! Place snake plants, peace lilies, and other small plants on each office desk. This will help to boost your employees’ moods and help them generate creative ideas. Decorate the hallways, meeting rooms, and cafeteria with areca palms to create a tropical atmosphere and cleanse the office air. Hang baskets of spider plants or grape ivy by the windows. Get creative, and choose plants that do well in indirect light or that need minimal watering. Once you’ve set up your new-and-improved workplace, sit back and watch how the plants positively affect your employees’ mood and performance.


Bringslimark, Tina, Terry Hartig, and Grete Grindal Patil. “Psychological benefits of indoor plants in workplaces: Putting experimental results into context.” HortScience 42.3 (2007): 581-587. http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/42/3/581.full
Keniger, Lucy E., et al. “What are the benefits of interacting with nature?.” International journal of environmental research and public health 10.3 (2013): 913-935.
Largo-Wight, Erin, et al. “Healthy workplaces: The effects of nature contact at work on employee stress and health.” Public Health Reports 126.1 suppl (2011): 124-130. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/00333549111260S116

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