Researchers from Cardiff University have found a link between the amount of natural greenery in an office and the productivity of the workers there. A press release describes the findings, which show, among other things, an improvement in health and workflow when plants are present. Office managers should take this information to heart and consider buying plants for their own office.

According to the release, there are multiple benefits to keeping an office (leafy) green. In addition to decoration, plants also raise air quality over time and keep workers “more physically, cognitively, and emotionally involved.”

The study was specifically designed to compare a plant-filled workspace with offices that have more basic “lean” surroundings. Researchers compared these plain offices with those filled with plants. The results challenge traditional ideas of “simple” offices being better.

Psychology researcher Marlon Nieuwenhuis described the impact of this data.

“Our research suggests that investing in landscaping the office with plants will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity,” he said. “Simply enriching a previously Spartan space with plants served to increase productivity by 15 percent – a figure that aligns closely with findings in previously conducted laboratory studies.”

A co-author of the study, psychologist Alex Haslam, said that office plants send subliminal messages as well, calming workers and showing their employers care about them. In the longterm, everyone in the office gains as productivity and peace of mind increases.

There’s more than one type of “green” office, but the more literal kind has clear positives. As long as there is quality office furniture present, businesses can go from “lean” to “green” easily and still get work done