You know and I know that flowers just make us feel better. Actually, they make us perform better too. You can boost your creativity, productivity and memory by ensuring that your environment contains plants.
At the Chelsea Flower Show in 2013, the Identity Realisation research group at the University of Exeter carried out 90 experiments in association with Indoor Garden Design. Results from the 350 participants that took part in the study show that allowing staff to make design decisions in a workspace enhanced with office plants can increase well-being by 47%, increase creativity by 45% and increase productivity by 38%.
An earlier study by Robert Ulrich found that workers demonstrated more innovative thinking, generated more ideas and came up with more creative solutions to problems in an office environment that included flowers and plants, relative to those in an office with no flowers or plants. And of course, plants and flowers improve the quality of the air in the office which also contributes to the improved well being and productivity of the workers.
In this study by Ulrich, the men generated more ideas than the women when the work environment included flowers. However, the women exhibited greater creativity and contrived more flexible solutions to problems when flowers were present in the environment.
According to Sherry Burton Ways, the integration of plants in offices has been proven to reduce absenteeism and stress levels and lower blood pressure. Other proven benefits include lower noise levels, lower room temperature and reduced humidity.
It would be a mistake to think that design decisions are nothing more than superficial and that decorating your work environment with flowers is frivolous. Scientific studies have repeatedly shown improvement across measures of psychological comfort and business performance in spaces that incorporate natural elements such as plants and flowers.
So get yourself a cheery plant or fresh flowers for your work environment and raise your creativity and productivity. It has to be worth a try, surely?
Explore more of the Flower Faces series