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  • John Whitbread

The Secret to a Successful Business?? Plants!

Updated: Oct 11, 2019



Yes, I really said plants. Scientific research has proven that having plants in your office

can increase productivity. So if you’re looking for a new way to boost your business then

read on…


The scientific research was conducted by the University of Exeter, and when I first saw it I

couldn’t believe it. As far as I was concerned plants never look as good in the office as they do in the shop, and before you know it they’re just plain scraggy and you’re pulled away from your work picking off dead leaves. You get too busy to water them and within a few weeks you’re at the shop buying another plant swearing that this time it will be different. This time you’ll look after it properly.


But, of course, you don’t. But actually, you should. You really should.

It turns out that having a plant in the room boosts one of the most powerful things that any

business wants to strive for: a positive perception.


The Science

The reality is that most of our CO 2 is changed in algae blooms from the sea, so a plant in the

room is going to make actual little difference to the air quality, but the study revealed that the

perception is far different. The research showed that those who had plants in their office had

significantly increased workplace satisfaction, self-reported levels of concentration, and

perceived air quality. We feel that the air is cleaner. The simple act of having plants dotted

around positively affects our mind and psychology, and it does it to the point where productivity can be improved by 15%.


The study compared an environment with plants to the opposite end of the scale in what it

called a “lean designed” office environment. That’s an office that was stripped of absolutely

everything except the bare essentials, including greenery. Those in the lean office space were

less physically, cognitively and emotionally involved in their work.


Home From Home After I’d read about this research I couldn’t help but think that maybe other things could also improve our motivation in the workplace. People like photos on their desks and personal bits that create that home from home feeling. After all, we spend a huge amount of time in the office therefore we need it to feel comfortable. I’m sure that the more we put our own stamp on our little space, in what is otherwise a corporate setting, the better all of our work will be. I personally like to have a complete bare space that doesn’t feel like home. Weird, but I suppose everyone is different. But that’s a study for another day, I guess.


Get Shopping!

Whether you’re the main decision maker or you’re an employee sitting at that desk, take a look around you. Is your environment boosting you? Could you do with a few more plants? Even if you’re a bit cynical, why not give it a go? If the price of a few plants really does increase productivity by 15%, that’s a hell of a good return on investment.

I’m off out now to buy another couple of plants to brighten up the area around my desk. It

definitely can’t hurt.


Just don’t forget to water them…


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