Here’s How Plants Can Improve Focus and Productivity in the Workplace

Woman planting

Oakridge Manor in the UK is one of the companies that specialize in garden rooms, and so far, the demand has been high.

An interesting project involves combining plants with a home office, although this isn’t surprising anymore. Studies have shown trees, shrubs, and even potted ones can improve a person’s productivity at work.

In 2014, a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology challenged the belief the lean philosophy is better in the workplace. The idea of this is simple: the fewer objects in the workplace, the better. It could be these items can steal a person’s focus away from the job.

These include avoiding adding greeneries. The study, participated by some UK researchers, concluded otherwise. It revealed that plants in the workplace could increase the employees’ work output by as much as 15%. One of the primary reasons is a better focus.

How plants can improve focus is still a matter of more research and even debates. A long-standing theory, though, is it encourages undirected attention. This idea stems from the belief there are two types of attention: directed and undirected.

Much of the work is directed. It means a person has no choice but to force themselves to think and analyse the information before them. It can lead to burnout or an increased stress level. Nature, on the other hand, can create undirected attention.

It draws the person’s eyes to the sceneries involuntarily or without effort. The engagement is still high, but the effect is restorative. The break from directed attention is what rejuvenates the person, particularly the brain.

Incorporating plants in the workplace may also reduce the risks of sick building syndrome. It is a condition characterised by nausea, fatigue, and headaches, among others.

One of the possible reasons is the exposure to toxic chemicals such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Specific types of plants can absorb these toxins, thereby enhancing the quality of indoor air.

Taking care of plants demands time and attention. Working with garden design teams, though, can reduce the burden. They can create systems that are easy to maintain. They can introduce easy-to-manage plants. Regardless, the benefits of adding greeneries outweigh the trouble of having them.