Blayney Chronicle

Greening your workspace: The benefits of artificial plants for office productivity

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If you've ever experienced the immediate lightening of your mood and release of stress that comes with stepping out of your office to enjoy lunch in a nearby park or under the shade of a lush tree, you're not alone.

Studies consistently show that being around plants improves cortisol levels in our body, making us feel less stressed and thereby increasing mood and productivity.

Not limited to being physically outdoors and amongst nature, the same benefits have also been witnessed in workplaces that incorporate greenery into their decor.

Keen to discover if greening up your workspace can deliver greater productivity and a boosted office vibe? As our investigation uncovered, you can achieve all this and more.

How do plants boost office productivity?

Aside from a reduction of cortisol levels as outlined above, the presence of office plants can also contribute to productivity by:

  • Adding colour and visual interest for a more engaged and energised work environment
  • Helping employees to feel grounded and connected to the outdoors while remaining indoors (can reduce the feeling of needing to escape the office)
  • Creating a more comfortable space where employees can relax and focus more effectively on their work

Unconvinced? The data doesn't lie, one study from the UK found that bringing plants into the workplace increased productivity by 15 per cent. Likewise, a US study showed that around 10 per cent of employee sick days could be attributed to a lack of nature and natural light within office spaces.

It's worth noting that these benefits are not limited to those working in your office, but also to anyone who visits. This makes for a more welcoming space where productivity and positive outcomes are more likely for everyone present.

Artificial vs real plants for productivity

If the idea of adding plants to your workspace sounds like the reverse of a productive decision due to the care and maintenance involved in keeping them alive, then you're in luck.

In most research samples, whether your office plants are real or artificial makes no difference in terms of positive outcomes related to productivity, stress, mood and morale. However, the more real they appear, the better.

This means you can happily invest in quality artificial plants for your workplace and enjoy all the benefits without any worries over mess, watering or accidental plant deaths. Just perennial productivity and a refreshingly green office to enjoy.

Could your grey unwelcoming workspace benefit from some greening up? Picture Shutterstock
Could your grey unwelcoming workspace benefit from some greening up? Picture Shutterstock

Choosing the right artificial plants for your office

So where to begin if you have no plants but want to introduce some to your office? Ultimately, there is no golden rule for how to choose plants or a magic number of artificial plants you must have to experience enhanced productivity.

However, our industry expert Josh of The Plants Project suggests:

'For maximum benefits and increased visual impact in your workspace, a mixture of foliage plants, floral displays and plants of different heights, colours, textures and sizes is ideal," he says.

"To start with, look at adding a taller potted plant in each room, combined with at least one floral or foliage plant on a desk or counter."

With a wealth of exceptional artificial plants on the market that are hard to distinguish from the real thing, the hardest part is choosing which of these to place in your office.

Embrace the green revolution

A greener workspace is no passing fad and thankfully, is something that can be achieved with minimal effort and long-lasting benefits thanks to artificial plants.

Even if you don't immediately see a boost in productivity, research supports this as being one experiment that is well worth trying out.

If nothing else, you'll be creating a more beautiful, greener space that wins out over a stark grey unwelcoming one any day of the week - and what's not to love about that?