An engineer and owner of a small company in Canada, Mike Robinson, has found out that adding this one thing on his staff’s desks could increase their output by around 30%.
No, it's not free coffee, a motivational poster, or a fluffy dog. It's not even a raise or a bonus. Although that could also work.
It's a plant. An indoor plant.
Robinson shared his findings on a TEDxWhiteRock event. Initially, however, he was a non-believer. He thought that plants would be a distraction for his staff. But it turns out that these stationary, leafy beings increased productivity a lot--thanks to a concept Mike's wife Suzanne accidentally arrived at.
“I did my own mathematics, and I reckon that we might be doing about 30 percent more business per staff [member],”
While it’s not exactly a scientific measurement, Robinson runs a small company, so it isn’t hard to notice increased business output.
This is one of many examples of the benefits of working in green offices--a trend that's catching onto many companies. It's changing their overall outlook and culture towards using elements found in nature to boost health and productivity among employees.
Forbes reported that employees are around 15% more productive when working in a green office than their peers working in non-green offices.
“A green office appeared to provide a boost to employee engagement, concentration levels and perceived air quality all showing a rise after the introduction of plants into the office,”
Tim Oldman, the CEO of Leesman, a workplace enhancement company, told Forbes that after surveying 200,000 employees worldwide, 77% stated that natural light was important to them, but only 58% were satisfied with the natural light in their office.
A similar percentage of employees placed importance on air quality, but only 38% were satisfied.
But, perhaps if workplaces tended to their staff members’ needs, it would result in a happier, more efficient environment, like Robinson’s.
“Our office is a more contented place, a relaxed place, and a place that I’m proud to be a part of [it], and a big part of that is the personal plant,” he told the TEDx crowd.