Plant Benefits

More Than A Pretty Face
Most people would agree that plants add warmth and are esthetically pleasing.  But with lots of demands on limited facilities budgets are there any benefits to the business bottom line of having plants in the work place?  Glad you asked…read on!

Did you know plants can:

Improve employee productivity by up to 12%?

Improve customer perception and return rate?

Improve air quality by reducing pollutants and airborne dust levels?

Improve your floor plan design instead of using more expensive alternatives?

Improve employee productivity by up to 12%
Tests conducted by Dr. Virginia Lohr of Washington State University, Dr. Roger S. Ulrich of Texas A&M University and Helen Russell of Surrey University, England all concluded that  plants are beneficial in both helping people concentrate and in reducing blood pressure levels.  In Dr. Lohr’s study rooms with 27 computer stations were set up, one with and one without plants.  Participants were asked to work on a computer application that was created to test productivity and induce stress.  The results showed that participants in the room with plants were 12% more productive, had lower blood pressure and had a significantly better recovery from stress within five minutes.  To read Dr. Lohr’s full report, click here.

Improve Customer Perception and Return Rate
Marketers have studied the situational influence of store layout on the behavior of shoppers (Engel et al., 1990). They found that interior plants and landscapes create environments that:

People visit more frequently

Stay longer

Rate the quality of products 30% higher

Are willing to pay about 12% more for goods

Not a bad return for a few plants!

In another study conducted in a London hospital visitors were surveyed using 20 pairs of bipolar adjectives (quite vs noisy, cheerful vs gloomy, etc.  The results showed that when plants were present, visitors perceived the environment to be:

17% more interesting

17% more cheerful

16% more welcoming

11% less stressful

11% more expensive

8% quieter

There were no negative findings and the results were independently verified as being statistically significant (“Human Responses to Interior Plantings”, J. V. Stiles, PhD, Oxford Brookes University, 1995)

Improve Air Quality by Reducing Pollutants and Dust
Because plants have a large surface area and exchange water and gases with their surroundings, they are an excellent candidate to tackle many environmental problems.  Findings by William J Fisk and Arthur H. Rosenfeld of the Lawrence and Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Ca showed that an adequate installation of interior plants (about 1 plant per 100 square feet) in modern sealed office buildings were dramatic.  They estimated the improved air quality due to plants could save U.S. companies as much as $58 billion annually by preventing sick building illnesses!

Indoor pollution is due to everyday things such as ceiling tiles, floor covering, paper towel which release compounds that cause ear, nose, throat and respiratory irritation.  Bio-Safe Incorporated recently published their date confirming that energy efficient, sealed office buildings are often 10 times more polluted than the air outside.  B.C. Wolverton, a NASA scientist agrees in his book How to Grow Fresh Air where he scores common indoor plants for the ability to help clean the indoor air.

Improve Your Floor Plan With Less Expense
There are many opportunities to use plants in place of more expensive alternatives to improve the design and look of buildings such as:

Hide or soften less attractive features

Break up large open spaces, even create a “wall”

Use as “signposts” to help people find their way

Create a privacy

Reduce noise