How plants can enhance productivity at work?

Entering the 3rd week into the new year, #BlueMonday is for real. Don’t you think? If you are buried under the mountain of work you have planned for yourself, closing tasks on your Notion board and feeling attention fatigued already, then you are not alone. 

While I am there with you on that, working with plants and Nature everyday has taught me some important lessons. While preparing for the Plant Therapy Workshop: How to bring Nature to your Workplace that we did recently (more dates to be announced), I stumbled upon an interesting study on how plants can bring focus and improve your attention span, while you are surrounded by them. 

This is how the research went, which was done on 34 participants:

Case 1: An office setting with four indoor plants, flowering and foliage plants.

Case 2: The same office setting as in Case 1, without the plants. 

The observed results show that with plants in the setting, the participants were able to work more efficiently on a demanding cognitive task, while in comparison to the office setting without the plants. Taking a short 5 minute break did not help in attention restoration, as much as having plants in the office setting did. 

So, what’s the scientific reasoning behind how plants can enhance productivity in the work environment?

This is explained by the Attention Restoration Theory, which divides “attention” into 2 subsystems:

Directed (voluntary) and Undirected (involuntary) 

Directed attention like working on your excel spreadsheet (unless I presume you are in your flow state with the excel 🙂 ) has finite capacity and you get easily fatigued. 

The patterns and movements in Nature, however offer a stimulation that captures involuntary attention, which in fact restores our attention capacity. 

Do you feel enhanced productivity on observing Nature’s patterns and elements? Share with us your thoughts or if you would like us to do a gardening service for your office or workplace, let us know here.

Plant love

Sanitha, Planteka

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