How Do Office Plants Increase Productivity?

Indoor office plants can increase productivity by as much as 15 per cent.

This statement has been proven time and again. In fact, in 2014, research conducted in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom uncovered how “lean” workspaces (or those with a desert-like aesthetic) can benefit from adding greenery.

Since then, more detailed reviews of the advantages of indoor plants in commercial spaces have been made. Some even tackled what people can gain from working in greenspaces and how to maximise the benefits.

Ultimately, these dissertations have proven something that many only hypothesised previously: Investing in office plants can pay huge dividends for the company.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the advantages of bringing nature into your office and how you can maximise productivity with indoor landscaping.

Productivity-Related Benefits of Indoor Office Plants

Indoor plants play an important role in commercial spaces. For offices, they not only serve as natural decor but also provide several benefits that promote employee productivity.

1. Improve Air Quality

Did you know that the air inside an enclosed space is not necessarily better than what you inhale outdoors?

Although there isn’t much carbon monoxide and other compounds typically found in outdoor air inside your office, you and your employees are exposed to different types of pollutants, such as dust and mould. Fumes from furniture paints, varnishes, glues, coatings, building materials, and cleaning and personal care products can also lower the air quality.

Scientists agree that poor air quality has a negative impact on performance, particularly on cognitive function and focus. In fact, health and environmental authorities declared that poor quality can cause various health issues, including:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

Fortunately, indoor office plants are here to save the day.

As the plants perform photosynthesis, they also reduce the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. Plus, they produce more oxygen and take in carbon dioxide, making the air cleaner and more breathable.

2. Combat Office Stress

Stress is unavoidable, especially at work. Still, this doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to help ease work-related stress.

According to the 2014 study mentioned in the introduction, employees experienced greater workplace satisfaction when plants were introduced into their workspace. University of Queensland Psychology Professor Alex Haslam, the study’s author, said this could be because the workers felt how much their employer cared for their welfare.

Moreover, the greenery provides an oasis for employees, especially in the lobby or the employee breakroom. Colour psychology explains that the colour green not only promotes calmness and serenity but also helps restore a sense of reassurance among professionals under high pressure or stress.

3. Enhance Creativity and Focus

Greenery is also a key element that helps boost employee creativity.

According to the attention restoration theory (ART), looking at or spending time with nature can help ease mental fatigue and improve concentration. ART states even seeing images of plants encourages more effortless brain function, which allows it to recover faster and replenish capacity for more creative work.

From potted plants to green walls, bringing nature into your commercial space can give your employees a sense of relief and help them feel refreshed and more focused at work.

4. Reduce Noise Pollution

If you have a noisy work environment, consider placing office plants around your workspace.

A study published in 2005 revealed that office plants can help reduce noise in a given space, particularly those in the lower-end frequencies. This includes:

  • Street rumbling
  • Traffic
  • Sounds from the air conditioner

The study explained that the leaves, branches, and soil absorb the sound wave vibrations, preventing them from bouncing off the walls and causing echoes that may distract office workers.

Choosing the Right Indoor Plants for Your Office

The lack of natural light and ever-changing temperatures in the office can make it hard for plants to thrive. If you want to make the most of the benefits discussed above, you need to take the plant selection and commercial landscape maintenance for your office more seriously.

This section covers the different variables you need to consider when choosing plants for your office.

The Environment

When deciding where to place plants, you must first check whether the environment meets the required space, sunlight, humidity, and temperature for them to thrive.

Ideally, potted plants and indoor landscapes must be placed in the right direction to get the right amount of sunlight to grow.

For example, cacti and succulents that need a lot of sun in order to survive and avoid root rot need to be placed near windows or doors facing south, west, and southwest. Conversely, Sansevierias and Zamioculcas can thrive in low sunlight, making them good choices for offices with few or no windows.

You should also ensure that the plants you choose can survive in an air-conditioned environment with relatively dry air. For example, sansevieria (snake plants) are excellent office desk plants because they only need monthly deep watering. Just remember to choose ‘dwarf’ varieties that don’t grow too tall, like the Sansevieria Trifasciata (a.k.a. Futura Superba).

Read more in this guide on indoor plants for every space.


Your choice of office plants also greatly depends on your purpose.

For example, if you want to decorate with plants that have sound-absorbing properties, consider choosing those with big, dense, and fluffy leaves. Here are some great options that work perfectly with our GRP pots:

  • Dypsis Lutescens (Areca Palms)
  • Sansevieria (Snake plants)]
  • Ficus Lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig)
  • Aspidistra (Bird’s Nest Fern)
  • Nephrolepis Exaltata (Boston Fern)
  • Zamioculcas (ZZ Plant)

A green wall also offers noise reduction properties and provides immersive greenery for a refreshing environment without taking up too much floor space. This makes them excellent choices for lobbies and other high-traffic areas, as well as office break rooms.

Plant Maintenance

Choosing the right plants for your office is only half the battle. To boost employee productivity with indoor greenery, you must also focus on their upkeep.

Besides watering, you may also need to regularly trim, aerate, and clean the foliage of your indoor plants. Some can even outgrow their pots and need replanting.

To ensure your new ‘team members’ don’t wither, consider hiring landscape maintenance service professionals to take care of them. After all, the cost of landscaping services is nothing compared to the benefits of having a green space that fosters a healthy and productive work environment.

Bring ‘Greener-gy’ Into Your Office

From fighting stress and reducing noise pollution within the workspace to enhancing productivity, indoor plants bring ‘greener-gy' into your office. Choose suitable plants and ensure proper maintenance to create a conducive work environment for your employees.

Need help sprucing up your workplace? Get expert green landscaping services and enjoy the only full-service experience in the UAE with Planters.

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