The most obvious answer is that they look attractive! However, recent research has shown that the value of plants goes far beyond the purely aesthetic. Plants are not only good for the building and its occupants in a number of ways, but they also provide a number of benefits for clients and guests.
Will plants in the office help reduce employee absenteeism?
Studies have proven a direct relationship between clinical health complaints and plant installations. Sick Building Syndrome is a serious and expensive issue, and the degree to which interior plants can positively affect employee’s health is an important issue in today’s workplace.
Can plants reduce stress and increase productivity?
Research performed by Dr. Roger S. Ulrich of Texas A&M University, Helen Russell of Surrey University in England as well as those conducted by Dr. Virginia Lohr of Washington State University verify that plants significantly lower workplace stress and enhance worker productivity.
In Dr. Lohr’s study, common interior plants were used in a computer laboratory with 27 computer workstations. A computer program to test productivity and induce stress was specifically designed for these experiments. Participants working in an environment with plants present were 12 percent more productive and less stressed than those who worked in an environment without plants.
Can plants increase creativity?
In an eight-month study, the Texas A&M University research team explored the link between flowers, plants and workplace productivity. Participants performed creative problem solving tasks in a variety of common office environment or conditions. The conditions included a workplace with plants and flowers, a setting with sculptures and an environment with no decorative embellishments.
During the study, both men and women demonstrative more innovative thinking, generating more ideas and original solutions to problems in the office environment that included plants and flowers. In these surrounding, men who participated in the study generated 15% more ideas. And while makes generated a greater abundance of ideas, females generated more creative, flexible solutions to problems when plants and flowers were present.
What is biophilia and how are plants involved?
The concept of Biophilia suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems, or more simply, it’s the love of nature and all living things. It has become so prominent, that the biophilic connection of plants earnedLEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment) credits for a recent interior plantscapeproject in New Mexico.
Stephen R. Kellert, an advisor on prominent green building project and professor of social ecology at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies has spent much of his career thinking and writing about biophilia. In a recent interview discussing his latest book, Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science, and Practice of Bringing Building to Life, he discussed a study underway at the eastern headquarters for Bank of America at Bryant Park [in mid-town Manhattan]. “My colleague is currently working on the study along with a furniture manufacturer, Herman Miller to review the degree to which direct exposure to natural elements might impact employees in the office and factory. They were able to find significant productivity gains, less absenteeism, less health problems, a better sense of well-being as reported by the individuals that participated. And ultimately all of this translates to the bottom line.”