1. Healthy air
One of plants’ most important qualities, are their natural ability to contribute to good air quality. Plants withdraw CO2 from the air to create oxygen in turn. There are plants which are additionally also good at purifying the air of toxic substances, like benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia. These are substances which float around in nearly every workspace, originating from the building materials that make up the property. Because of the improved isolation of modern office spaces, less fresh air can flow in and through. Consequently, the amount of toxic matter that is present can increase. Plants can help filter these out and create healthier air with more oxygen. This in turn increases the productivity of the people present in the building, and improves their well-being.
2. Improved humidity-levels
Plants evapotranspirate; a word combining evaporation, the process of water evaporating from the soil in which the plant is growing, and transpiration, the evaporation of water from the pores (stomata) in the plant’s leaves. Thanks to these processes, the air receives moisture. This improves the living climate of offices which suffer from dry air. Research by Wageningen Environmental Research in collaboration with Fytagoras Plant Science has shown that the relative humidity is between 5 and 17 % higher in spaces with plants, than in places without. Especially in winter this effect is significant, because the air outside tends to be drier. Due to evapotranspiration, the thermal comfort of employees can increase. The temperature in the building becomes more stable. Thanks to the plants, employees suffer less from large fluctuations in indoor temperature.
3. Fewer health issues = fewer sick days
Another important argument: in a work space filled to the brim with (or at least including some) plants, people experience fewer health issues. Healthier air with better humidity levels, decreases common problems like irritated eyes, headaches, dry throats and fatigue. This positively affects sick leave. People working in green space tend to call in sick less often. Research by Wageningen Environmental Research in collaboration with Fytagoras Plant Science even has suggested a decrease in sick leave of 1,6 days per employee per year.
4. Solving noise issues
Have you ever noticed, that it’s easier to understand the person you are talking to in a green area? That is because plants absorb ambient sound. Plants with large leaves offer the most acoustic qualities. Noise nuisance in the office can be a great source of irritation and lead to concentration issues and stress. This also impacts productivity. In larges spaces where lots of people gather or work together, like meeting rooms or open plan offices, can become increasingly comfortable with the addition of plants. The plants are best grouped together against the walls of the space for the best acoustic impact.
5. Greenery creates a pleasant work atmosphere and satisfaction
An extraordinary benefit of plants in the workplace is the mental aspect. Put a bunch of plants together, and you’ll notice that people will like to gather near them. In short, green brings people together and stimulates social contacts. Employees also prefer to have meetings in green rooms. It creates a pleasant atmosphere, which makes people feel better, and helps creativity and inspiration start to flow! The World Health Organization published a report in the summer of 2021, emphasizing the importance of greenery for mental health.
Conclusion: green up your office
A healthy workplace has a large impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of employees. They tend to feel better in an environment with plants, which translates into less sick leave, higher productivity and a more positive image of the organisation. Applying more green in the office helps bring out the best in people. It’s very easy to introduce more greenery in the office. By putting down potted plants, but a living wall creates an even bigger wow-factor. A plant wall doesn’t only offer a high number of plants per square meter, it is also a real eye-catcher for the company. Investing in green in the office will pay itself back in happy and healthy employees.