artificial plants

Are artificial plants as good as real ones for boosting mood and morale?

Are you going green in your office? No, we’re not talking about recycling your printer paper this time; we’re talking nature. Plants have a profound effect on people’s mood and productivity, with a recent study showing that they improve:

  • Memory and concentration: Plants have a calming effect, and in tests, tasks were performed with more accuracy and a higher quality result under the influence of our green friends. In fact, memory and attention can be boosted to the tune of 20 per cent thanks to plants.
  • Quality of life: Adding plants to your office may not actually improve quality of life, but as a perception, research has shown people feel they have a better quality of life when they are around beautifully landscaped areas.
  • Happiness: Flowers, green leaves and ornamental plants have been shown to reduce stress and improve people’s moods overall. If you’re keen to make your employees happy at work, adding more foliage and floral decorations could be the solution you’re looking for.

So, it’s clear that plants are good, both at home and in the office, but do you get the same benefits from artificial plants as you do from real ones? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each to find out.

Real plants: The benefits and downsides

Real plants have a physical effect on the local environment. Because they photosynthesise, they are actually producing oxygen all day long, making the office less stuffy and more breathable. They also remove some of the toxins from the air, and create humidity, which can be good in an office where you use a lot of drying temperature control like air conditioning or central heating.

However, they take a lot of care too. Even the hardiest plant can become a treacherous foe if you don’t bend to its every whim, wilting and going brown at the first sign of a missed watering or poor sunlight. Sunlight is quite an issue too, as most offices like to keep the glare out of the workspace, so that people can see their monitors, which can make the room unsuitable for many plants.

One of the big downsides to natural plants is their potential to cause allergies in some workers. Around 13 million people are hayfever sufferers, and some people with other allergies such as asthma can be negatively affected by real greenery. If they do start looking sick, they will absolutely detract from the ambience of your office, and make people feel worse, not better!

Artificial plants: Do they do better?

Because artificial plants are just that, artificial, they don’t require any of the trappings of a natural plant. If your room has very little sunlight, they can still look great. If you don’t have the space for a big pot of earth, you can stand them in a vase (or hang them from the ceiling, or trail them artfully around your bookcases… whatever you like!). They do still require some maintenance, as they can become dusty and ugly if not properly cared for, but in comparison to real plants, your time investment will be much less.

It’s been shown that, although artificial plants don’t raise humidity or purify the air, they still boost mood and concentration just by creating a more green and pleasant impression of the room. Not only that, but you know your investment is safe, because they won’t be dead and in the bin in six months’ time.

The verdict?

We think sometimes artificial plants are the best fake friends you could want in your office. They provide a great alternative to high maintenance real plants, and can have many of the real plant benefits on your workforce’s productivity and mood.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that cheap artificial plants look pretty awful. Being obviously plastic and pretty unlike anything really natural will have a negative effect on your room, so don’t scrimp on the cost of these items. Look after them, and you could benefit from them for years, so invest in high quality artificial plants for your office.

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Last Modified / Updated on: May 31, 2018 at 10:59 am