Did you know that office plants can actually increase your productivity? True, if you’re addicted to Facebook games and can’t stop compulsively playing Candy Crush, office plants probably won’t help. But, if you’re trying to maximize your mental capacity and make sure you give your job your all, then you might want to invest in some office-friendly flora.
There have been a series of studies over the past few years that have indicated the possible value of office plants. A 2011 study, for instance, found that office workers performed timed reading tasks better when seated at a desk with plants than they did when seated at a barren wood desk. A 2013 study found similar results while also discovering that the presence of office windows helped cognitive function.
One theory as to why plants are effective at improving cognitive function is that the brain needs a break from paying direct attention to the task at hand. The presence of a plant in the room – or a passing co-worker or a nice window view – can give your brain the break it needs by allowing you to pay indirect attention to something other than the work task you are struggling to complete.