If You Want to Increase Productivity, Bring Indoor Plants into the Office

If You Want to Increase Productivity, Bring Indoor Plants into the Office


Ever break up your workday by sitting in a park or taking a walk outside? There’s a reason you’re drawn to the outdoors when you’re stressed. You’re made to be in nature, but according to the EPA, you’ll spend over 90% of your life indoors.

That math doesn’t quite add up, does it?

The impacts of this mismatch are obvious. The less time you spend around outdoor and indoor plants, the more out of sync you can feel both emotionally and physically.

A growing number of brands are addressing this by creating what could be described as indoor jungles:

  • Over 80% of Apple’s HQ is covered by trees, and that doesn’t include the abundance of indoor plants filling the interior.
  • Amazon’s downtown Seattle campus is home to not 40, not 400, but 40,000 plants from all over the world.
  • An energy startup, Solar Mosaic incorporated as many as twenty verdant green living walls throughout their HQ.

Why all the fuss about indoor plants? Science. According to decades of peer-reviewed research, interior plants are good for business.


Our Quality of Life Increases When We’re Near Plants

Did you know that just looking at plants can have a beneficial impact on your health? A 2009 Environmental Research and Public Health study found that exposure to indoor plants can result in the following benefits:

  • Reduced stress
  • Restored energy
  • Increased pain tolerance
  • Improved attention
  • Decreased coughing


So what happens when people are around nature less?

According to the study, the subconscious brain may interpret a lack of plants as an indication of an “unnatural” and “unsafe” environment. The resulting chronic stress can lead to an increase in obesity, depression, and attention disorders.

The ways that indoor plants benefit health aren’t just good for the individual human. Indoor plants promote a healthy work environment, too!


Indoor Plants Boost Creativity and Productivity at Work  

Researchers keep making this one, really significant claim about the impact of indoor plants on work performance:

When indoor plants are placed in the office environment, people feel happier and healthier, and they get more work done.

Here’s what the science says:

  • Plants make employees feel comfortable at work. According to a 1998 Environment and Behavior study, indoor plants improved workers’ perceptions of the office environment and feelings of comfort.
  • Indoor plants reduce mental fatigue. The results of a 2001 North American Journal of Psychology study found that visual exposure to plants in the workspace can actually quicken recovery from mental exhaustion.
  • Plants in the workplace keep employees healthier. A 2007 American Society for Horticulture Science study found that the presence of indoor plants led to decreased sick leave.
  • Indoor plants increase productivity at work. In 2014, the University of Exeter released a study finding that offices with indoor plants increased worker productivity by up to 15%.
  • Including plants in an office’s interior improves social sustainability. A 2020 Journal of Building Engineering systematic review determined that indoor plants made work-life more sustainable for employees by improving their health and motivation.

Happier employees mean less turnover and a healthier work culture. Investing in the long-term health of your business by bringing plants into the workspace is both a beautiful and savvy way to improve your outcomes.

How does working in the presence of indoor plants impact you? Do you feel more at ease and productive if you’ve got some potted companions keeping you company? We’d love to know in the comments below!

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