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Why having plants in the office can boost productivity

By Greg Bell

Indoor plants are not only a great way of decorating – they also provide plenty of positivity for the mind and body. The new year is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the benefits that greenery can bring to your Gold Coast commercial property. Here's how you can boost overall productivity by bringing plants into the office.

Improving air quality

While we'd like to think our work areas are clean environments, the reality is that the air in office buildings is teeming with pollutants. These airborne toxins can cause headaches, fatigue, and in some cases, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), where people in a building or office environment come down with the same lethargic symptoms. Indoor plants are an effective way to combat SBS, and can significantly increase the quality of air in a room. Healthy workers are happy workers, and this can be helped by simply putting a few snake plants around the office. These leafy purifiers convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, so there will be plenty of fresh air in the office in the morning.

Reducing stress

Human psychology suggests that we all have an innate desire to be at one with nature. This doesn't necessarily mean selling all of your material belongings for a life in the forest – however, placing more plants around your home and work is enough to satiate your need for nature and to significantly reduce stress levels. 

Multiple studies have shown that even briefly looking at photos of nature has an immediate effect on the brain and creates a relaxed emotional state. By having a few potted desk plants around the office, your workers are less likely to feel stressed and jaded, and can focus in a relaxed environment. Additionally, colour psychology indicates that green invokes overall positive associations such as tranquility and feelings of rejuvenation. 

Reducing noise

Plants are great at absorbing sound. While they're not going to miraculously mute the person across the desk, plants with a dense surface area can refract sound waves and reduce echoing. If you're the kind of person who is driven up the wall by the sounds of other people's breathing and keyboard tapping, invest in a few dense plants in your bright workspace, such as aloe vera or succulents, to absorb some of that excess noise. The bigger the plant and the more soil you have impacts how much sound is absorbed.

Promoting teamwork

Having a variety of plants in the office is a dynamic way to promote nurturing and responsibility in a team environment. Plants are quite the commitment and although some varieties need less attention, such as succulents and cacti, they tend to need some caring to ensure they'll thrive in an indoor environment. Creating a plant watering schedule is a great way to involve employees in the care process and to advocate teamwork in the office to keep the plant alive – nobody wants to be the one who forgot to water the peace lily. If your "green thumbs" prove successful, consider starting a staff herb garden in the kitchen with some pre-planted chives or coriander to add to lunches.

Reducing absences

With plants providing a substantial amount of psychological and motivational benefits, it's no surprise that their presence in the workplace helps in reducing employee absences. A recent Harvard study showed that offices that implemented a considerable amount of greenery to their workspaces had 30 per cent fewer employee absences than those that had no plants at all. As plants provide employees with a productive environment and clarity during office hours, when it comes to winding down at the end of the day they'll find it easier to relax and get a good night's rest in preparation for returning to work the following day.

For commercial property advice and expertise, contact the commercial team at Ray White Surfers Paradise for a friendly consultation

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