Ambius, the world's largest interior landscaping company with offices in
the Philadelphia area, has taken part in a new report led by the
Universities of Cardiff, Exeter, Queensland and Groningen, which
strongly suggest that plants in office spaces increase employee
productivity by 15 percent and improve workplace satisfaction by up to
40 percent. This directly contradicts the current trend for "lean"
offices, which have minimal decoration with little to no artwork or
plants, championed by many large corporations and government.
The study, which was published this month in the American Psychological
Association's acclaimed Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied,
analyzed the impact of lean (no decoration) and green offices (those
with plants) on perceptions of air quality, concentration, workplace
satisfaction and productivity. The results revealed that employees in
the green environment completed tasks faster, and without any increase
in mistakes, than those working in the lean space. Workplace
satisfaction was also significantly improved with employees reporting
higher levels of concentration, satisfaction and better air quality.
"This is a ground breaking, real world study which clearly demonstrates
how plants in offices can increase employee productivity," said Craig
Knight, one of the study's authors from the University of Exeter. "It is
entirely consistent with over a decade of laboratory and workplace
rsearch. Creating a long-term study within a working environment has
provided us with evidence to scientifically demonstrate the toxicity of
the "lean" office as used by many businesses."
"We know from previous studies that plants can lower physiological
stress, increase attention span and improve well-being," said Kenneth
Freeman, Ambius' head of innovation. "But this is the first long-term
experiment carried out in a real life situation, which shows that
bringing plants into offices can improve well-being and make people feel
happier at work. Businesses should rethink their lean processes, not
only for the health of the employees, but for the financial health of
Two studies were carried out in open plan offices in central London and
The Netherlands. In both cases, one discreet working area was left in
the lean condition preferred by the host organization. A second working
space - very similar to the first - was filled with plants provided by
Ambius. Employees were then asked questions to see whether the
enrichment of their office space had affected their satisfaction with
their work environment, concentration levels, perceptions of air
quality, and job satisfaction levels after two weeks and after three and
a half months.
A further study was conducted among employees of a large consultancy
organization in London, where participants were randomly assigned to one
of two experimental conditions, lean or green, and performed two
productivity tasks. The results highlight how lean is meaner than the
green, in terms of both worker happiness and worker productivity.
is the world's largest provider of plants, holiday décor, replica
foliage and flowers for commercial environments. Ambius also offers a
broad range of products and services including ambient scenting and
artwork which can help improve employee productivity, reduce absenteeism
and boost well-being in the workplace. Founded in 1963, Ambius is a
division of Rentokil Initial plc.
Note to Editors
Report published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2014-30837-001/
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