Benefits of Plants and Greenery

Read up on the physical, psychological, and over well being of plants and greenery as well as how to incorporate biophilic design in your space and maximize your return on investment.

The Nature of the Post-Pandemic Workplace

Key findings from The Nature of the Post-Pandemic Workplace:

► Just one in five remote workers said they wanted to go back to an office full-time.

► One-third of office workers say the design of an office would affect their decision to accept a job offer.

► Top items desired in office space by employees: Natural light, live indoor plants, and quiet working space.

► Healthy workplaces are no longer negotiable. Access to fresh air, natural light, adequate personal space, and cleanliness affect the perception of safety.

► Creating a nature-based environment with plants and natural materials is essential to post-pandemic business survival.

► One month of workplace greenery maintenance costs less than buying lunch for employees once a month

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Workplace Greenery and Perceived Level of Stress

The study addresses employees’ access to workplace greenery (WG) during their work day.

► Significant relationship between access to WG, and workplace attitude (males and females).

► Significant relationship between access to WG and level of stress (only males).

► Significant relationship between workplace attitude and level of stress (only females).

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Evolution in the office: how evolutionary psychology can increase employee health, happiness, and productivity 

We focus upon several components of our ancestral environment, including sunlight, greenery, sleep, physical movement, and social interaction with fellow humans as well as animals (specifically, dogs).

Employers who are willing to adopt an evolutionary psychological approach to organizing their workplaces may drastically improve their workers' overall physical and psychological health as well as their overall productivity.

This will, in turn, decrease employer costs related to medical care, absenteeism, and lack of productivity.

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2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Built Environment Considerations To Reduce Transmission

Over the last decade, substantial research into the presence, abundance, diversity, function, and transmission of microbes in the BE has taken place and revealed common pathogen exchange pathways and mechanisms.

In this paper, we synthesize this microbiology of the BE research and the known information about SARS-CoV-2 to provide actionable and achievable guidance to BE decision makers, building operators, and all indoor occupants attempting to minimize infectious disease transmission through environmentally mediated pathways.

We believe this information is useful to corporate and public administrators and individuals responsible for building operations and environmental services in their decision-making process about the degree and duration of social-distancing measures during viral epidemics and pandemics.

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The Health Benefits of Indoor Plants and How to Avoid “Sick Building Syndrome”

There are traditional strategies to improve indoor air quality such as adequate ventilation and the removal of materials causing pollution.

However, indoor plants represent a strategy to provide healthier indoor air. The average person spends nearly 90 percent of their time inside, predominantly in homes, offices and schools. The right choice of plants can be an excellent way of improving indoor air quality and general health.

Plants can be aesthetically pleasing and excellent decorative items. Flowering plants fill rooms with colors that can improve mood, help relax the mind, and increase creativity and productivity. There are further advantages of having plants indoors—which include significant physical health benefits.

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Clearing the air: The hidden wonders of indoor plants

It may come as a surprise but air pollution levels indoors are almost always higher than outside, even in busy city centres. Even more surprising is that indoor plants have the ability to mitigate high levels of most airborne contaminants.

Ventilation systems constantly "refresh" buildings with air from outdoors after a filtration process that removes some large particles, such as pollen, from it. Once inside, this air is augmented by a large range of indoor-sourced pollutants.

Environmental psychologists have long proposed that indoor plants can improve workplace performance and satisfaction. Having a plant in the office has positive outcomes, including an improved emotional state, reduced negative mood states, reduced distraction, increased creativity, and improved task-performance.

Many studies have related these effects to the idea of biophilia, which suggests being near a plant returns us, in some small way, to our evolutionary beginnings in the prehistoric forest.

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Health and well-being benefits of plants

Concentration and Memory. Being around plants helps people concentrate better in the home and workplace. Studies show that tasks performed while under the calming influence of nature are performed better and with greater accuracy, yielding a higher quality result. Moreover, being outside in a natural environment can improve memory performance and attention span by twenty percent.

Flowers Generate Happiness. Having flowers around the home and office greatly improves people’s moods and reduces the likelihood of stress-related depression. Flowers and ornamental plants increase levels of positive energy and help people feel secure and relaxed.

Accelerates Healing Process. The presence of plants in hospital recovery rooms and/or views of aesthetically-pleasing gardens help patients to heal faster, due to the soothing affects of ornamental horticulture.

Improved Human Performance/Energy. Spending time in natural environments makes people better at doing their jobs. It also increases energy levels and feelings of vitality.

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A Hobby for All Seasons: 7 Science-Backed Benefits of Indoor Plants

1. Indoor plants may help reduce stress levels

2. Real plants may sharpen your attention

3. Working with plants can be therapeutic

4. Plants may help you recover from illness faster

5. Plants may boost your productivity

6. Plants may improve your whole outlook on work

7. Plants may improve the quality of indoor air.

If you do decide to purchase houseplants to freshen the air naturally, these are several of the species shown to be most effective: areca, lady, dwarf date, and bamboo palms Boston fern rubber tree spider plant Ficus tree.

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Potential of a Small Indoor Plant on the Desk for Reducing Office Workers’ Stress

In modern society, stress reduction in the workplace is a pressing issue. Although many studies have been done on the psychological and physiological effects of indoor plants, the majority of them have been conducted in laboratory or quasi-office settings. The objective of this study was to verify the stress reduction effects of the presence of small indoor plants on employees in a real office setting. We investigated the changes in psychological and physiological stress before and after placing a plant on a worker’s desk. Sixty-three office workers at an electric company in Japan were the participants of this study.

Our hypothesis was that a small plant on a desk had the potential to reduce stress 1) by allowing participants to transfer their gaze intentionally to the plant and to have a rest without cognitive engagement, and 2) by providing participants the opportunity to take care of a plant that they themselves chose. We chose to use small plants that did not take up very much workspace. Our study sought to explore the practical use of indoor plants to benefit the mental health of office workers.

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The benefits of indoor plants in the office run deeper than just aesthetics

The world's most successful companies are incorporating indoor plants, vertical gardens, and courtyard landscaping into their office designs.

Space is a powerful tool to foster engagement, inspire innovation, and drive productivity. But what exactly does an optimal space look like? In the Science of Space, we explore how the science of intentional design can turn any work environment into a holistic experience.

There are certain design elements you can expect in a modern office space: open floor plans, motivational messaging, an impressive array of snacks, and—in many cases—lush office greenery. Gone are the days of gray walls and rows of cubicles. Some of the most successful companies in the world are incorporating indoor plants and courtyard landscaping into their office layouts.  

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Economic benefits of plants

Beautification Draws Customers, Reduces Shopper Stress, and Enhances Store Appeal. Trees and other ornamental plants beautify otherwise bland areas. They help create a positive aesthetic environment that attracts and welcomes customers of local businesses. Stores with landscaped areas have proven to make shoppers feel more at ease, and also contribute to appeal of a store. This translates into expanded sales resulting from longer shopping occasions and to stores being able to charge slightly higher prices because of an increase in the perceived quality of the store.

In today’s economic climate, businesses are seeking out new methods to effectively maintain their consumer base. What few businesses realize is that the simple addition of landscaping to a store front can make all the difference to a customer. The positive environment created by aesthetically-pleasing landscaping not only welcomes customers inside, but also enhances their perception of the level of quality of products and services offered by that store. Consumers are willing to pay higher prices, travel further to, and shop longer in a store that they perceive to be a quality establishment. Adding flowers or shrubs to the outside of a business can boost sales and widen the consumer base to include more customers. In addition, ornamental plants are an effective way to revitalize a stale business, bring in more clients, and improve the overall environment of the store. Furthermore, the presence of ornamental plants makes shoppers feel less stressed and more at ease in a store, which is a huge factor in increasing the total amount of time spent shopping. Landscaping is an effective way to invite more customers to a store and to keep them coming back to experience the positive environment they encounter there. (Bisco Werner 1996, Brethour 2007, Frank 2003, McPherson 2004, PNLA 2009, Wolf 1998)

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Why Indoor Plants Make You Feel Better

Houseplants are good for your health — and not just for their visual beauty. Why? They essentially do the opposite of what we do when we breathe: release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. This not only freshens up the air, but also eliminates harmful toxins. Extensive research by NASA has revealed that houseplants can remove up to 87 per cent of air toxin in 24 hours. Studies have also proven that indoor plants improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15 percent!), reduce stress levels and boost your mood — making them perfect for not just your home but your work space, too. At work, place plants, especially those with broad leaves, on your desk; they will help regulate humidity and increase levels of positivity — seeing greenery and nature help us feel more relaxed and calm, which in turn benefits your every day mood. Indoor plants serve a practical and aesthetic purpose, and will enhance your life.

How to Create your Personal Plant Sanctuary

An indoor garden can be your refuge from the outside world, and for many people it is a source of great joy. Whether you live in a small apartment, or a large house, by introducing certain plants into your home, you will start to notice improvements to your health, and overall happiness. As well as enhancing your mood and creating a living space that is soothing to be in, plants can also help with loneliness and depression: caring for a living thing gives us a purpose and is rewarding — especially when you see that living thing bloom and thrive.  

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