Those wishing to increase their own productivity or that of their employees might not need to undertake a drastic office reorganization or focus a whole afternoon on a new techniques training session.
According to a new study, all it might take is a little bit of greenery to boost productivity by 15 percent.
“Office landscaping helps the workplace become a more enjoyable, comfortable and profitable place to be,” Alex Haslam, a psychology professor at the University of Queensland, said in a statement. “It appears that in part this is because a green office communicates to employees that their employer cares about them and their welfare. Employees from previously lean office environments experienced increased levels of happiness, resulting in a more effective workplace.”
According to a news release from the university, this study is the first of its kind to analyze the long-term effects of adding plants to an office environment.
"Although previous laboratory research pointed in this direction, our research is, to our knowledge, the first to examine this in real offices, showing benefits over the long term," Marlon Nieuwenhuis, a professor at the Cardiff University and lead researcher for the study, said in a statement. "It directly challenges the widely accepted business philosophy that a lean office with clean desks is more productive."
Researchers compared how "lean" offices — those stripped of all extra decorations — and "green" offices — those that included plants — affected workers in commercial offices in the Netherlands and U.K. over a few months.
“Employees were more satisfied with their workplace and reported increased concentration levels and better perceived air quality in an office with plants,” Haslam said. “The findings suggest that investing in landscaping an office will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity.”