Recently, researchers have discovered that enriching an office space with potted plants and other greenery can increase your employee's mood and their productivity by as much as 15% and their ability to retain memories by as much as 20%.

In recent years, the idea that a minimalist, or 'lean', office space with no distractions encourages efficiency has given way to the contemporary idea that 'green' offices, which have been enhanced with plants, improve the employee's mood and productivity.

Particularly in urban areas like Greater London, where there is less greenery, the addition of potted plants to an office interior could massively increase a business' efficiency.

The Green Office Vs The Lean Office

One of the authors of the study, Craig Knight of the University of Exeter, said that 'Whatever the environment is, generally speaking, it's a better environment if it's enriched and plants are a very cost-effective way of enriching your space.'

Knight went on to explain that the idea of a 'lean' office, with all possible distractions removed and only the tools the employees need to do their job available, has no biological, psychological or neuroscientific reasoning behind it. The idea is that a lean office space reduces the possibility of distractions and, as such, should contribute to improving the employee's productivity.

Far from improving productivity, Knight claims that it is more likely to damage it. 'There is no animal on the planet that thrives in a lean space,' Knight then went on to say that, 'whether it's an ant or a gorilla, it doesn't matter; if you put anything in a lean space it suffers.'

Why Is A Green Office More Productive?

Adding greenery to your office, like Twitter's famous 'living wall' or, more realistically, potted plants, offer a wide range of benefits over the lean office:

  • Living Air Purifiers – Plants produce oxygen and, as such, can help to reduce the removal of unpleasant organic compounds which often thrive in the workplace, such as formaldehyde and benzene, and which are often given off by various paints and carpets. Along with the removal of these chemicals and carbon dioxide, and the production of oxygen, plants have the added bones of being significantly cheaper than air purifiers and completely silent, providing much less of a distraction than a purifier would.
  • Enhanced Creativity – Being surrounded by greenery has long been documented to improve creativity and enhance memory retention, thereby leading to even greater productivity from every employee exposed to the plants.
  • Subtle – Plants don't require additional effort in order to attract attention and, as such, they do not detract from the employee's attention to their work. In fact, they have even been said to help in restoring an employee's ability to direct their attention.

In order for plants to have these effects, however, they must be kept healthy. Unhealthy or dying plants have been proven to have an inverse relevance to productivity, with employees feeling depressed if surrounded by dead or dying greenery.

Create The Perfect Office Refurbishment In Greater London

Here at Oaktree Interiors, we specialise in providing innovative office design and office refurbishment services which have been proven to increase employee health, happiness and productivity. With more than 30 years' experience in producing office refurbishments in Greater London and all over the UK, our professional team specialise in increasing your businesses efficiency with our intuitive, unique designs.

For more information, or to start designing your ideal office refurbishment in Greater London, call Oaktree Interiors today on 0845 474 3556, or email help@oaktreeoffice.com.

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