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15% Performance Bump From Office Plants

Arash Amini

Lean Business Strategies Only Go So Far

A globalizing workforce, increased demand for 24/7 business, accelerating technological your pulse quickening yet? The demand of modern business has never been greater, and in order to compete, some of the world’s smartest companies are realizing that looking back to our roots as humans may be the best way to move forward.

New developments in psychology research are overthrowing years of strong held dogma: the more bare and lean a workplace, the less distractions a worker might experience and the more work that can get done.

But new research out of the UK’s University of Exeter are showing that this line of reasoning has a natural limit. When office plants were introduced into a “lean” workspace, researchers saw a 15% increase in productivity over the subsequent months.

We’ve all been in a lean office, exposed brick, bare concrete floors, and an open floor plan are some popular features. But in our quest for distilling our work flows to the bare essentials, we’ve overlooked what it means to be human.

Our bodies- minds included- did not evolve in the office. We’ve formed our higher minds while walking through the vast and unruly world of nature, not sitting and staring at a computer monitor. It’s no wonder plants in the workplace increase our productivity.

The coming years will surely increase the notion that more nature in the workplace is what we desperately need- not less. The phrase “sitting is the new smoking” is already becoming part of our zeitgeist. Adding plants to any office is one of the most cost effective ways to increase the productivity in a given office without depleting your most important resource and biggest competitive advantage: your workforce.

Looking at some common perks employers include in their office spaces, gyms, natural snacks, game rooms and the like, adding plants seem like a natural progression. There’s a primitive instinct that must be addressed when planning office spaces, it’s something that cannot be ignored. In fact, this latest research shows that embracing and nurturing this instinct adds to a business’ competitive advantage and increases performance.

Just think- what could a 15% improvement to one of your largest competitive advantages mean to your bottom line?

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