The ‘lean’, undecorated modern office is not a place of high productivity when compared to ‘green’, plant-filled work places.
The University of Queensland’s School of Psychology monitored the satisfaction and quality of life of office workers in both ‘lean’ and ‘green’ office spaces over a 2 month period. For any gardener, the answer is obvious before you even start to ask the questions, but it’s good to see a proper, scientifically rigorous study finding the same improvements to mental health.
What’s more important from a business point of view was the increased productivity – a whopping 15% – that a green office promoted. Workers felt more relaxed and happy, they felt they concentrated better and were more satisfied. This shows that there’s a real return on investment for business owners to bring plants into the workplace and have them properly maintained.
So those unappealing ‘hot desk’ options in modern offices where everything is stripped back to bare functionality may suit an edgy-looking double page spread in a design magazine but they don’t suit humans. Just ask them.
[See more in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied]