How can Living Green Walls Increase Employee Productivity by 15%?
plant walls in the workplace
Updated on 24th Apr 2017 by Planters
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Living Green Walls and the Employees'


You may have heard that plants in the workplace can improve morale. But, did you know that they can actually increase employee productivity by up to 15 percent? In fact, a recent study showed just that, supporting earlier research on the benefits of plant life in a workspace. Combine that with information about the effects the work environment has on employee performance, and you have a winning approach that is also low maintenance. And, if you are implementing a living green wall, it doesn’t have to take up much space.

Why You Need Plants in the Workplace

plant walls in the workplace Greenery does more than just make the work environment more attractive; it also provides a range of health and psychological benefits. Aesthetically speaking, plant life provides visual interest while also softening the look of a typical office environment. Many workspaces feature heavy, harsh materials, like metal filing cabinets and other sterile designs. Plants add colour, and well-manicured greenery makes a positive impression on customers and employees alike.

Plants also add moisture to the air, creating a physically more comfortable space especially in offices that are dominated by electronic equipment and other digital devices. They also clean the air by absorbing pollutants while also increasing oxygen levels in the area. Further, they can dampen sound between work areas. And, when vertical gardens are added, they create visual barriers as well.

Many people find viewing plants relaxing, especially in otherwise manmade environments. They add an additional sense of life while bringing a part of the outdoors in for everyone to enjoy. And the correlation between lower stress levels and higher productivity are well-recognized across the world.

Understanding the Science

Pantry Plant WallNumerous studies have been conducted on the benefits of plants in the workplace. In a widely recognised Norwegian study, plants were shown to reduce neuropsychological symptoms, such as fatigue and headaches, by 23 percent, with fatigue actually reducing by 30 percent on its own. Symptoms related to the mucous membranes, such as coughs and dry throat were also reduced by 37 and 25 percent respectively. Dry or flushed skin also decreased by 23 percent.

The benefits listed above were contributed to the improved air quality, and the psychological value plants provide. The microclimate of the office space improved based on the increased moisture content and the ability of plants to cleanse the air. Specifically, a study in 1989 showed how plants could be used to remove impurities like xylene and formaldehyde, two chemicals commonly found in certain building materials and office furnishings. A study conducted in 2004 found similar results when examining the effect of plants on airborne benzene.

Additionally, people working in environments with plants experience notable stress reduction, improved mood, and increased focus. Couple that with reduced fatigue and increased cognitive function, and you have a recipe for a more productive workforce.

Using Living Green Walls

When most people think of adding plants, they imagine traditional potted varieties. Often, potted plants are either very small scale, placed for the enjoyment of only a few people in a small area, or large options, which can be cumbersome to move and consume valuable floor space. However, living walls provide all of the benefits of having plants in the space while limiting the drawbacks of using of implementations.

Plant Wall in the OfficeLiving green walls, or vertical gardens, are designed to bring greenery into the space vertically. This means only a limited amount of floor space is required, ensuring you don’t have to sacrifice work surfaces to add plants. Additionally, when properly positioned, you can make the living wall visible throughout a large portion of the business.

Since the plants don’t reside on tables or desks, and you don’t have to sacrifice workspace to add greenery to the environment, you don’t have to negatively impact your employees’ abilities to meet production goals in an effort to improve the workspace.

In many offices, having enough room to complete one’s tasks with ease helps make the environment more comfortable and productive. So, choosing living green walls over other plant installations can also ensure productivity based on the greater accessibility of usable space.

Choosing the Plants for a Living Green Wall

Once you decide to install a vertical garden, you need to choose the right plants for the job. Since the goal of adding plants is to increase productivity, you need to choose options that will provide good coverage while remaining low maintenance. If a living wall takes employees away from their duties due to the need for extensive amounts of case, then it counterbalances the improved productivity from the plants being present. To ensure you choose the right varieties, here are some that provide an attractive backdrop without needing a significant amount of time and attention.

Vines like pothos are ideal for low-light environments, such as office spaces that don’t have much direct sunlight. Additionally, they can be coaxed to follow a certain path, making them an excellent choice for covering a large area. But the biggest benefits to choosing vines is the limited amount of maintenance. Aside from watering and the occasional adjustment to help them follow the desired path, they require very little work when compared to options that require frequent trimming or shaping to keep a clean appearance.

Sword fern is also a strong option for the base, as they prefer wetter environments making them ideal for collecting extraneous water that isn’t absorbed by the plants above. Other ferns that perform well are Rabbit’s foot and Cretan brake ferns. Like vines, ferns require very little maintenance. They don’t have to be shaped since they are considered attractive in their natural form.

For those who prefer plants that bloom, peace lilies can be a strong choice. However, colour can also be added with options like dracaenas and crotons, both of which feature leaves with additional colour beyond the standard green. Since these plants don’t have actual blooms, there is no concern regarding the management of fallen petals, a common maintenance requirement for plants that actually flower.

By choosing low maintenance plants, you can appreciate the beauty of the living green wall without having to dedicate the time that could be put to more productive uses. That way, you get the full benefit of the bump in productivity and a beautiful space that is sure to inspire.

The Bottom Line

The connection to plants in the workplace and increased productivity are widely recognised. In cases where horizontal space is limited, Choosing to add living green walls allows you to replace some of the greenery that has been removed, and can even help maintain balance in the local area. This ensures you get the benefit of greenery without having to sacrifice a significant amount of work or floor space along the way. In the end, this makes living walls an ideal addition to any work environment.
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