What are the benefits of having plants in the office?

If you’ve decided to give your office a bit of a revamp, you may have considered painting the walls a different colour, investing in some ergonomic office furniture, and putting some inspiring artwork on display. But have you thought about bringing some of the outdoors indoors with some indoor plants for the office?

The benefits of indoor plants are well documented and have been proven in several scientific studies. Making a small investment in some indoor desk plants could have a huge impact on your wellbeing and even the success of your business.

Wondering just how exactly a houseplant can change your life so much? You might be surprised by the many benefits of having plants in the office.

1. Indoor Plants Reduce Stress and Anxiety

There have been numerous studies into the effects of plants in workspaces on stress levels.

A study carried out by the New University of Technology Sydney (UTS) found that staff with plants placed in their office spaces reported a 30-60% reduction in stress levels over the course of three months. Interestingly, even adding just one plant to the office was enough to have a huge impact on employee mood and stress levels.

As well as the effect on stress levels, the 40 participants in the study reported a reduction in other negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, and anger.

So why exactly do plants have such a positive effect on our mental health? Simply put, looking at greenery and nature helps us to feel calm. Scientists believe that all humans naturally have biophilia – an instinctive love and need to connect with nature.
People who live in cities and spend all day working indoors may experience stress simply due to a lack of connection with plants and the earth. Biophilic office design doesn’t have to be overly complex or elaborate. Something as simple as a single desk plant can provide that in-built need to connect with nature, promoting positive feelings and reducing levels of stress hormones.

2. Having Plants in the Office Improves Air Quality

Australians spend 90% of their time indoors. Indoor air pollution caused by cleaning products, air fresheners, perfumes, mould, dust, and secondhand smoke can trigger or exacerbate health problems such as asthma, bronchitis, headaches, and even cancer, costing the economy as much as $12 billion per year.

Reducing the use of toxic cleaning products and increasing ventilation are two obvious ways to reduce pollutants and increase the quality of the air inside your office building.

Another easy change to make is to keep living plants in your workspace. During the day, plants absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), to use in a process called photosynthesis. Indoor plants have been shown to reduce CO2 levels by as much as 10% in air conditioned offices, and up to 25% in those without air conditioning. High levels of CO2 can cause headaches, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating.
A study by NASA showed that some air-purifying indoor plants such as Bamboo Palms, Peace Lily, and Spider Plants also filter other toxic compounds such as formaldehyde, ammonia, and benzene, as well as airborne dust and mould.

3. Office Plants Help to Improve Physical Health and Reduce Sickness Rate

As a knock-on effect of better air quality and a low-stress environment, offices with living plants often report lower sickness and staff absence rates.

There’s research to back up the health benefits of plants in the office – the Green Building Council of Australia reported that indoor plants can reduce sick-leave absences by as much as 60%!
Employees may take time off work for both physical and mental health reasons, so it’s logical that if you can improve the overall health and wellbeing of your employees, you’ll find they’re not calling in sick as often. Using indoor plants for stress relief and enhancing the ambiance of your workplace can help you achieve this goal.

4. Looking at Nature Can Inspire Creativity

The natural world has been inspiring creativity for thousands of years, but you don’t need to hike to the top of a mountain to seek out dramatic landscapes if you feel a lack of inspiration. Instead, take a look at some of the plants that improve office productivity and creativity.

An eight-month study conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University found that participants working in an office with plants and fresh flowers generated up to 15% more ideas, formulated more creative solutions to problems, and demonstrated more innovative thinking than those in offices with abstract sculpture or no decorative elements.

Researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK also found that employees making design decisions in a workplace with office plants increased their creativity by as much as 15%.

5. Plants Regulate Humidity

Another major benefit of plants in the office is the fact that they naturally regulate humidity levels. Did you know that plants naturally regulate humidity levels? This is done through a process called transpiration, which involves plants absorbing water through their roots that is then circulated through their stems and leaves. Once the water reaches the leaves, it evaporates into the air through tiny pores called stomata. Transpiration doesn’t just increase humidity levels when necessary, it also can help reduce excess humidity by balancing the indoor climate.

Regulating humidity offers many more benefits than just extra comfort. It has been scientifically documented that maintaining an optimal level of humidity indoors can have a great impact on human health. Low humidity levels tend to lead to dry skin, irritated eyes and respiratory discomfort, while high humidity can result in the growth of mould, mildew and dust mites. Plants that absorb humidity can help ensure that your office finds the perfect balance between high and low humidity and, in the process, create a healthier work environment.

6. An Office with Indoor Desk Plants is Attractive and Welcoming for Clients

Filling your office space with green living plants not only makes it more attractive for you and your employees, but it also gives a better impression to clients too. The presence of lush, green plants within an office setting can transform an otherwise impersonal area into a welcoming space that radiates vibrancy. Plants also offer plenty of opportunities for getting creative with interior design, like using plants as room dividers or incorporating features such as plant walls, hanging plants, and planter boxes.

The strategic placement of indoor plants can effortlessly enhance the office’s design theme, complementing furniture, colour schemes and other decorative elements to create a stunning and cohesive look. From tall, leafy fiddle leaf figs in the corner that command attention to small succulents that add subtle charm to desks, each plant choice can be tailored to reinforce the office’s unique visual identity.

7. Plants Serve Practical Purposes Too

Finally, there are practical benefits of having plants and greenery in the office. Plants can act as a visual barrier between work zones, or placed on a windowsill to reduce the amount of light coming in from a too-bright window at certain times of day.

A strategically positioned office plant can be used to hide a bundle of unattractive cabling or fill the space in a weird alcove or a bookcase that’s conspicuously empty.

Plants dotted around an open office will help to dampen sound too, making it easier for your employees to concentrate and to ignore the distractions of office conversations and ringing telephones. This handy feature is especially useful for open plan offices, which are quickly becoming the norm in the workplace.

Feeling inspired to experience the benefits of having live plants in the office?? Transform your office into a vibrant, visually stunning workplace with The Plant Man’s indoor and outdoor plant hire, design and maintenance services. From selecting the perfect plants that fit your office to designing captivating green spaces and ensuring they remain healthy with our professional maintenance services, we’ve got you covered.

Request a free quote from The Plant Man today and discover the numerous indoor plants benefits on the office for yourself.

Download our free guide today.

Find out just how easy it can be to keep your office plants happy and healthy.

You may also be interested in...​

Let’s talk about how we can improve your work environment