Breath of fresh air to help productivity

Decorating your office with indoor plants can increase productivity by up to 15 per cent, according to new research.

Conducted by the University of Technology, Sydney and the University of Exeter, the research found that employees working in spaces decorated with plants or artwork feel more comfortable at work, identify with their colleagues, and feel more positive about their job.

Dr Fraser Torpy of UTS believes the effect plants have on air quality shouldn’t be underestimated.

“Plants can reduce dust levels, refresh air, and stabilise temperature and humidity levels. Employers will also be interested to hear that this cleaner air leads to clearer thinking, which in turn promotes greater productivity and efficiency,” Torpy said.

A recent survey conducted by Ambius found that just 8 per cent of workers consider their workplaces to be airy or fresh, while only 14 per cent sit near a window or natural light.

Another 16 per cent stated they don’t leave their office throughout the working day, and over a third of workers surveyed said they regularly get headaches at work.

Graeme Armeni of Ambius said that businesses should also look to use plants as part of their green strategy.

“Having indoor plants can form part of a business’ green commitment. Many businesses are choosing to combine green building features and office design, an attractive option when you consider the potential impact on workplace productivity and the bottom line,” Armeni said.

The Green Building Council of Australia recognises the importance of indoor plants through its Green Star program.

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