Do flowers in the workplace increase productivity and boost mental wellbeing? Posted by Justine Clarabut on 26 January, 2018

Having travelled to work under a carpet of dark clouds observing that this is probably the worst the great British outdoors can get in terms of wet dirty roads and gloomy landscapes. I walked into the office to see a beautiful array of colourful tulips, quite simply placed in a decorated jar, on a shelving unit.. they immediately lifted my spirits and prompted a discussion in the office about the whereabouts of these bright and cheerful flowers! I soon learnt that one of the team members had brought them in as it was his Birthday – his reason being, instead of bringing in sugary fatty cakes and treats, he would fill the office with joy in a different way!

So feeling inspired by this simple gesture of kindness, I decided to carry out a little research about the benefits of having fresh cut flowers and green leafy plants indoors and whether it can help with mental wellbeing and productivity in the workplace!

It very quickly became apparent that the benefits are endless… “reduces stress and aids relaxation; improves innovative thinking; boosts creativity and memory; increases problem solving and ideas, boosts mental wellbeing; helps with healing” and so the list went on!  I was quite surprised at the extensive research that’s been carried out as to whether flowers have positive effects and how wonderful that again and again I read that they did!

One particular research study by the Texas A&M University research team explored the link between flowers and plants in the workplace environment and workplace productivity. The findings were that both women and men who were exposed to flowers and plants in an office environment exhibited more innovative thinking, generating more ideas and solutions to problems. Whilst males generated 15% more ideas, females generated more creative, flexible solutions to problems when flowers and plants were present.

Other studies also showed that plants may benefit our health by improving air quality, for example by increasing the amount of oxygen and moisture in the air and removing certain toxins and so increasing our brain power!  Simply looking at plants every day helps stressed people feel more relaxed which in turn boosts mood, increases resilience and yes, there you have it, productivity!

So I had my answer; flowers and plants do help with mental wellbeing and productivity in the workplace!  And, flowers are welcoming too!  Flowers bring positive emotional feelings to those who enter a room just I had done this morning! What a great excuse to fill the office with flowers and green leafy plants – I’ll certainly be off to the shops this weekend!