Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Healthy, productive workplaces: Towards a case for interior plantscaping

By Andrew James Smith, Matthew Tucker and Michael Pitt


Purpose\ud The purpose of this paper is to investigate office users’ perceptions of their working environment in relation to the addition of plants. \ud \ud Methodology/Approach\ud Office users’ perceptions were examined using a survey, administered to an experimental group and a control group before and after the installation of plants. The results were analysed to determine any statistically significant differences between the two groups and between the pre-test and post-test surveys for the experimental group. Absence data was analysed to establish any changes in absence rates.\ud \ud Findings\ud Significant differences were found between the experimental and control groups for the work environment contributing to pressure, health concerns, morale and preference for plants. There were also perceived improvements in productivity, pressure, privacy and comfort although these were non-significant. Sickness absence reduced substantially in the area with plants and increased slightly in the control area.\ud \ud Research Limitations\ud It would be useful to extend this research over a longer time frame and in a greater range of buildings to validate the results.\ud \ud Practical Implications\ud By providing well designed workplaces, including living plants, organisations can potentially improve employee perceptions, leading to performance gains and reduced absence. This paper suggests that significant savings can be achieved in comparison to the cost of plants. \ud \ud Originality/Value\ud The role of indoor nature has received relatively little attention compared to the number of studies on outdoor nature. Additionally, this paper applies the research to a real working environment as opposed to experimental designs, which have formed the majority of previous studies

Publisher: Emerald
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:
Provided by: CLoK

Suggested articles


  1. (1991). Affect, cognition and urban vegetation: Some effects of adding trees along city streets.”
  2. (1989). An assessment of botanical air purification as a formaldehyde mitigation measure under dynamic laboratory chamber conditions,”
  3. (2000). At home with nature: Effects of ‘Greenness’ on children’s cognitive functioning.”
  4. (1995). Constructive use of vegetation in office buildings.” Plants for People Symposium, The Hague,
  5. (2008). Effect of live plants and window views of green spaces on employee perceptions of job satisfaction.”
  6. (2002). Effects of the foliage plant on task performance and mood.”
  7. (2001). Environment and crime in the inner city: Does vegetation reduce crime?”
  8. (2002). Green green grass of work.”
  9. (1996). How to grow fresh air: 50 houseplants that purify your home or office. Weidenfeld and Nicolson,
  10. (2005). Human response to window views and indoor plants in the workplace.”
  11. (2009). Influence of limitedly visible leafy indoor plants on the psychology, behaviour, and health of students at a junior high school in Taiwan.”
  12. (1989). Interior landscape plants for indoor air pollution abatement: Final Report.
  13. (1996). Interior plants may improve worker productivity and reduce stress in a windowless environment.”
  14. (1996). Particulate matter accumulation on horizontal surfaces in interiors:
  15. (1977). Patterns of environmental preference.”
  16. (1988). Perception and aesthetics of the urban environment: Review of the role of vegetation.”
  17. (1993). Plants and soil microorganisms: Removal of formaldehyde, xylene and ammonia from the indoor environment,”
  18. (1998). Plants in the workplace: The effects of plant density on productivity, attitudes and perceptions.”
  19. (2008). Preference for plants in an office environment.” Healthy and Creative Facilities,
  20. (2007). Psychological benefits of indoor plants in workplaces: putting experimental results into context.”
  21. (2008). Stress-reducing effects of indoor plants in the built environment: The mediating role of perceived attractiveness.”
  22. (2009). Sustainable workplaces: Improving staff health and wellbeing using plants.”
  23. (1982). The Perceived Office: The Office Environment as Experienced by its Users.
  24. (2003). The restorative effects of roadside vegetation: Implications for automobile driver anger and frustration.”
  25. (2008). User perceptions in workplace productivity and strategic

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.