Plants Produce Productivity?

19 Jul 2013

I recently brought in a small, potted plant to sit on my desk, just next to my computer screen. Our house is overflowing with plants and I wanted to bring a piece of that into the office. I can see quite a bit of greenery outside my window, but I like having a potted plant. There is something reassuring to me about both having the plant and looking after it.

I know that there have been a number of studies about the positive effects that having plants in an office and being able to see greenery outside from your office window have on employee wellbeing and quality of life. A recent study in ProEnvironment found that indoor plants can “…reduce stress and improve productivity…at the workplace, in schools and kindergartens…” 1 Another study found that having plants in the office both increased workers’ productivity and reduced the number of sick days.2

A number of studies have had similar results. One in particular foundthat:

“…individuals who worked in offices with plants and windows reported that they felt better about their job and the work they performed. This study also provided evidence that employees who worked in offices that had plants or windows reported higher overall quality-of-life scores.”3

Really, I suppose it comes down to the idea that people are more relaxed, productive and healthy when they’re happy and plants make people happy. I suppose in a similar vein, a good CRM system can make you more productive and reduce a lot of the stress associated with keeping track of information at work. A reduction in stress and an increase in productivity allows you actually enjoy the fun and interesting parts of your job, making you happier. And whether it’s having a CRM system or keeping plants on your desk I suppose at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter.

It all comes back to that old, familiar adage: Happy employees are productive employees. All I know is that it makes me happy to have this little plant on my desk.

1Boboc, Paula and Marie Cantor (2012) ‘Studies Concerning Sanognetic Effects of Flower Plants.’ ProEnvironment 5. 227 – 230

2Bringslimark, Tina, Terry Hartig, and Grete Grindal Patil (2007) ‘Psychological Benefits of Indoor Plants in Workplaces: Putting Experimental Results into Context.’ HortScience. Vol. 42 No. 3 581-587

3Dravigen, Andrea, Tina Marie Waliczek, RD Lineberger, and JM Zajicek (2008) ‘The Effect of Live Plants and Window Views of Green Spaces on Employee Perceptions of Job Satisfaction.’ HortScience. Vol. 43 No. 1 183-187