Did you know the “most toxic space” (American Psychological Association) for humans to work is one without plants or photographs?
Perhaps one of the easiest productivity hacks, whether you work at home or in an office, is to have plants around you as they can increase productivity by 15%.
Not only can they increase your productivity, but also improve your health by:
Fresh air: During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
Focus: improving your air quality correlates to better overall focus.
Improve Sleep: surround yourself with natural light. Employees working solely under artificial light in the workplace have been found to suffer from lower quality sleep and had poorer outcomes in measures of their physical health.
Improve Immune system: sickness rates fell by more than 60% in offices with plants.
Clean the Air: According to NASA, plants remove up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours by pulling contaminants into soil, where root zone microorganisms convert VOCs into food for the plant. VOCs include formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke, and grocery bags), benzene, and trichloroethylene (both in man-made fibers, inks, solvents, and paint).
Speed Recovery: researchers at Kansas State University found patients with plants needed less pain medication, have lower heart rates and blood pressure, experience less fatigue and anxiety, and are released from the hospital sooner.
In my opinion, plants also help us learn to be more present (which we know improves our performance). When you become a plant parent, you come responsible for the life of this being and start to notice when your plant becomes dry or doesn’t get enough light.
For some, introducing plants into your workspace might be one of the more challenging recommendations I’ve provided. I get it, it took until I was thirty-four to keep a plant alive (a fact I conveniently left out when discussing having children with my husband). But while 30-minute performance breaks walking in nature might not be doable for everyone, that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of having plants in your workspace.