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Plants do more than add a little color and decoration to an office. They actually can make the people who work there healthier, happier and more productive.

Here’s what research from government agencies and universities shows about plants in the workplace:

  • People who work around plants recover from stress more quickly and are 12 percent more productive. They’re more attentive and react quicker than people who aren’t exposed to foliage while working.
  • Plants can cool the air and regulate humidity levels, which can keep workers more comfortable and protect wood and windows from damage. Some say plants can lower heating and cooling costs by as much as 20 percent.
  • An office full of plants is attractive to people who enjoy gardening and can increase employees’ satisfaction with their jobs.
  • Visitors perceive an office space to look more upscale and welcoming, even though plants are a relatively inexpensive decorating item.
  • Plants help clean the air and can make people feel better.
  • Research proves that plants help cure “sick building syndrome,” which occurs in energy-tight buildings that get too little fresh air. Plants filter pollutants out of the indoor air and replenish it with oxygen.
  • Plants keep an office quieter. A substantial plant, like a small hedge around a cubicle, can reduce noise by up to 5 decibels by absorbing noise. Some companies are even replacing cubicle walls with rows of plants.

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