Research highlights benefits of plants on office productivity

A plant a day really may keep the doctor away, according to an academic who has researched the benefits of plants in the office.

"Just one plant can make the difference, keeping us feeling good and working well," said Margaret Burchett, writer of the Greening the Great Indoors for Human Health and Well-Being report.

She researched how plants affect us in the workplace and discovered that they soothed negative feelings such as stress, anxiety and depression.

"They reduce anger, fatigue, confusion and overall negativity among participants with plants in their offices by as much as 60 per cent," she reported.

Burchett, a professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, said the research confirmed "what we've all known for a long time" - when we feel good, we perform better.

Thomas Palfreyman, chairman of eFig, a non-profit group promoting plant benefits, said the research could prove useful because many offices bound by health and safety rules do not allow workers to keep plants on their desks.

"Knowing we can make a difference with just one plant per person per 12sq m space will help businesses that want to provide a healthy, stress-free environment where their employees remain motivated and perform well."

He added that the study also confirmed that plants "stack up well with other motivators" such as music and art.


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