Office drones have suggested for years that the quality of the work environment can have a big effect on productivity, happiness and retention rates. Anyone remember that Simpsons episode when Homer made noise for more tartar sauce in the office cafeteria? Anyone?
These days Americans spend an average of 52 hours a week at their desks, and it's perhaps no surprise that studies have shown that those who labor under artificial light in windowless offices report reduced job satisfaction and increased stress.
Now, a research study published in the February 2008 issue of HortScience concluded that people who work in offices with plants and windows reported that they felt significantly better about their jobs and the work they performed. Those with plants rated their job satisfaction and quality of life higher, and responded more positively about their bosses and coworkers.
Interestingly, when asked to rate job satisfaction specifically, there was no difference among women respondents in offices with or without plants, though there was among men.
More research needs to be done on the importance of the indoor environment on health, productivity and well-being. We known that many plants can help absorb toxins and regulate humidity, and it seems they probably lead to decreased stress levels. Human beings are much more connected to nature than we often like to admit, and here is one more example.
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