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8 Ways Houseplants Improve Productivity

Studies have shown that houseplants improve productivity by 15% when added to an office environment. The presence of indoor plants can reduce stress, boost mood, and increase concentration levels, effectively contributing to a more efficient work environment. Simply adding houseplants can be a simple yet effective way to enhance the overall well-being and productivity of a workspace.

8 Ways Houseplants Improve Productivity

8 Reasons Indoor Plants Boost Your Productivity

1. Improve Mood

A person’s mood is influenced by their surroundings. Thoughts of nature reduce anger, fear, and stress and increase mood and well-being, creating happy employees who are motivated to be more productive. The color green is known to be calming, dark green in particular, but other colors have additional benefits. Green-yellow and bright green create a more exciting environment by adding brightness and a sense of strength.

2. Reduce Noise

Rather than insulating against noise, plants absorb it, improving the working atmosphere by allowing people to focus more. People concentrate better when it’s quiet, and plants can help create that more peaceful environment. Rather than resorting to noise-canceling headphones, consider adding plants to the home or office environment. Putting them on the outskirts of the work area helps neutralize noise that would otherwise interfere with getting anything done. 

3. Help Reconnect with Nature

Biophilia is a human’s innate desire to be a part of nature. Putting people indoors, particularly in offices, robs them of this need. Adding plants to an indoor environment helps people reconnect to nature, significantly boosting productivity by decreasing stress and anxiety levels. These levels naturally increase when people are put in indoor-only environments without access to plants.

4. Clean the Air

The air inside a building is less healthy than outside, even in busy urban areas. The photosynthesis process produced by plants reduces the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in an indoor environment, increasing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide, staving off headaches and fatigue and making it easier to concentrate. They can even cancel out chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene, often released by office equipment and furniture.

5. Stimulate Creativity

Studies have shown that looking at nature can stimulate creativity, inspiring the brain to operate more effectively and improve productivity. Even just looking at pictures of nature can improve a person’s creative output. Additional studies explain a phenomenon known as “the green effect,” which is employees’ increased creativity after looking at the color green for as little as two seconds. It is suggested that looking at the color green inspires people to grow, like a plant. Greenery also increases memory and attention span by up to 20%.

6. Regulate Humidity

Dry air in a home or office can lead to nosebleeds, sinusitis, asthma, and bronchitis, all of which lead to sluggishness and impair productivity, but which can be improved by adding houseplants. Plants create moisture through a process known as evapotranspiration, pulling water from the soil to keep themselves hydrated and dispersing the remainder in the surrounding air, regulating humidity in an office environment. Dry air can also lead to skin or eye irritation, slowing productivity, but adding houseplants can help return the humidity in the house or office to normal levels.

7. Improve Concentration

Carbon dioxide is high in indoor environments, but plants release oxygen that can help balance the levels in the air, improving a person’s ability to concentrate. Short of taking breaks and going outside, nothing is as effective at clearing a person’s mind and improving concentration as adding houseplants, and that clarity aids in worker productivity.

The need to improve concentration is greater than ever with today’s workforce. Extended hours spent in front of a screen reduce concentration exponentially over time. Adding houseplants to the environment breaks up the monotony and helps return focus to the work at hand.

8. Reduce Stress

Studies have shown that people who spend time in nature are less stressed, but Americans spend 90% of their time indoors. Adding houseplants to a home or office is like spending time outdoors, reducing stress levels and allowing workers to be more productive by reducing the friction in their lives. The color green is calming, and some flowering plants are aromatherapeutic.

Cortisol production is also reduced when people spend time around plants. The stress hormone is housed in saliva, and its production is reduced when people are around greenery. Studies found that caring for plants also reduced both psychological and physiological stress. Interacting with greenery suppresses sympathetic nervous system activity and lowers blood pressure.