|Plants make happier offices! |
If you have been feeling low at work for some time now, do look around to see if there is some greenery to cheer you up. If there isn't, do step out and get yourself a potted plant. Well, this is no 'feng-shui' advice that we are giving away, but the result of three elaborate studies carried out by researchers at in UK and Netherlands and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.
Studies on the effects of indoor plants date back to late 1990s but evidence for introducing green environs takes us back to the Burolandschaft movement in Germany in the 1950s when office landscaping was done to make working environment more collaborative and humane.
The obvious benefits of having a plant in closed spaces such as an office would be active replenishment of carbon di-oxide with oxygen thereby increasing productivity.
The other explanation for explaining this benefit is attributed to the attention restoration therapy (ART) that was proposed by Kaplan in 1995. ART states that long term focussing on a specific task in a built environment such as an office leads to fatigue, termed as directed attention fatigue. Instead, shifting the task to a more natural environment frees the brain of this directed attention fatigue and therefore, increases productivity.
The recently published study measured workplace satisfaction, concentration, air quality and productivity and found that these parameters improved in greener offices than in the lean corporate offices that we are used to.
So, if you have been reading this at work and feeling stuck and unproductive, take a small break and get a small plant for your desk and if this post has made you a bit cheerful, do share it with your family, friends and most importantly, your colleagues at work!