Interior plants are an investment rather than an expense. Plants provide significant environmental, psychological, personal health, and productivity benefits.

The potential returns on an investment in plants make them an extremely worthwhile and valuable addition to the workplace.

Read this fascinating article Authentically Green Interiors, a detailed scientific study of the benefits of including plants into the design of a building.

• Increase Employee Productivity by 12%

Research done by Dr. Roger Ulrich of Texas A & M University, Helen Russell of England's Surrey University and Dr. Virginia Lohr of Washington State University has shown that plants significantly lower workplace stress and enhance productivity. In Lohr’s study, subjects were found to be 12% more productive and less stressed than individuals who worked in an environment with no plants.

Another study found that workers who spend at least 4 hours a day on a computer show a significant improvement in efficiency and concentration when plants are present.

• Clean the Air and Improve Well Being 23%

Research indicates that plant-filled rooms contain 50% to 60% fewer airborne molds and bacteria than rooms without plants.

Dr. Bill Wolverton spent nearly 20 years at the Environmental Research Laboratory at John C. Stennis Space Center testing this. He found that plants suck chemicals out of the air, absorb the office pollutants into their leaves and transmit the toxins to their roots, where they are transformed into a source of food for the plant. Based on those findings, Dr. Wolverton recommends that everyone have a plant on his or her desk within what he calls the “personal breathing zone”. This is the area of six to eight cubic feet where employees spend most of their working days. Only one plant per 100 sq. ft. will do the job! Just 15 to 20 plants are enough to clean the air in a 1,500 sq. ft. area.

A 1996 Norwegian study by Professor Tove Tjeld of the Agricultural University in Oslo, Norway found that health symptoms dropped by 23% when plants were present. Symptoms of fatigue, headache, dizziness, and concentration problems fell by 30%, cough symptoms fell by 40%, while hoarseness & dry throats were reduced by 30%.

• Reduce Stress and Absenteeism by 3.6 days/year.

Two Dutch studies revealed that a considerable proportion of sick leave can be attributed to building related health complaints. Research published by Bio-Safe Incorporated confirms that offices are often 10 times more polluted than the air outside. Office environments can lead to a marked increase in employee illnesses from poor indoor air quality. Workers were found to be absent 3.6 days.

By absorbing office pollutants into their leaves and emitting clean oxygen, interior plants can cut down on sick leave expenses considerably.

Studies by Roger Ulrich (1993, 1984) have consistently found stress reducing and health promoting outcomes associated with passive viewing of nature stimuli through windows.

R. Kaplan (1992) reports similar results in a field study of office workers. Kaplan found that workers who had window views of nature felt less frustrated and more patient, and reported more overall life satisfaction and better health than workers who did not have visual access to the outdoors or whose view consisted of built elements only. Viewing nature and garden scenes were found to reduce stress within 3 to 5 minutes. The positive effects of nature may also extend to the immune system, thereby directly affecting human physical health (Parsons, 1991)

• Improve Corporate Image

Studies by Dr. Ulrich and Dr. David Vizell from Oxford University verify the positive effect plants have on employee perception and disposition. In the final analysis, marketing research (Krome Communications, 2000) confirms that employee attitude and retention are top incentives for corporations to continue interior landscape contracts. Employees with positive perceptions of their workplace are less likely to seek employment elsewhere.

• Low Cost = 300% Return

One plant per 100 sq. ft. = 334% return on investment (ROI).

Here’s how we calculate the ROI:

  • The average wage earnings for a worker is currently $36,140 per year.

  • They're absent 3.6% of the time costing $1301 per year.

  • With at least one plant per employee, studies prove absenteeism can be reduced by 14%. That amounts to $182.14 ($1301 x 14%).

  • The cost of a plant program providing 1 plant per employee is about $42 a year per employee ($3.50 a month).

  • The investment in a plant program will return $140.14 per employee ($182.14 minus $42) or a 334% return on your investment of $42!