Plants Engender Productivity


Research has suggested that so called “clean” office spaces are not necessarily good for productivity, and motivation may favour a less ordered and greener environment.

Those of us who wish to participate in the world tend to celebrate their release from compulsory education by either getting some sort of job-type-thing or going into the more pleasurable type of education where you come out bright eyed and ready for the world, with a shiny degree to stick on your old mama’s fridge. Unless of course you decide to dodge society’s well thought out paths and live in a comfortable looking bin or alternatively marry a fat rich man, at some point your life will inevitably require concentration and a little bit of elbow grease.

Procrastination is a word that sends a sympathetic shiver down any students’ lazy bones. Symptoms of the procrastination condition include spinning round on wheely chairs, attempting to solve Rubik’s cubes and watching a whole series on Netflix about satsumas.

But how does one become productive and stay strong resisting various forms of technology’s beckoning screens? When you’re paying £9000 a year to study something you supposedly love, it helps to be able to get some work done.

So I present to you an easy solution. Get a plant. That’s right. A plant. Research from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology has suggested that having a plant in your office increases productivity by 15%, showing that plants in the office significantly increased workplace satisfaction, self-reported levels of concentration, and perceived air quality.

Having a plant on your desk may not seem like the next scientific revolution. But the whole perception of working spaces is becoming rather bohemian. You no longer have to sit at an empty desk space with painfully organized pencils and labeled files to feel as if you can achieve anything.

Stockholm University scientists examined data from 2000 employees and found that those who worked in a more open-plan office took more sick leave. As Einstein said “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?” Einsteins came up with the theory of relativity despite the fact a few empty tea cups and rogue pencils were running wild.

Studies conducted at the University of Minnesota agree with Einstein, suggesting that messier desks belong to more creative people. Putting things in a place where they are not typically found encourages thoughts that are not typically found. Research also suggests that when surrounded by chaos employees find it easier to simplify their thoughts.

So maybe this year when you sit down at your desk, don’t spend half an hour of essential procrastination obsessively organizing it. Think outside the Ikea Catalogue. Put underwear in your pencil case and sprinkle your desk with rubber ducks. Or just get a plant. Maybe it will help you get that first which has become an abandoned dream since your discovery of Jesters. Or maybe your procrastination will now stretch to include obsessively watering your plant until your plant is no more.


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