The relative benefits of green versus lean office space: Three field experiments

Posted by Niko Järvinen on Jun 14, 2016

Authors: Nieuwenhuis, M., Knight, C., Postmes, T. and Haslam, S.A.

Year of publication: 2014

Publication: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 20(3), p.199

Keywords: emotional well-being, work satisfaction, cognitive performance, productivity, indoor air quality,

Link to publication

Research (2014) was undertaken to investigate the impact of 'lean' and 'green' offices on staff's perceptions of air quality, concentration, workplace satisfaction, and productivity levels. Administered by a multinational group of researchers and conducted at two large commercial offices in the UK and the Netherlands, this three month long study involved over 300 participants. Participants were assessed in situ by both online questionnaires and measures of productivity, with examination of resultant data, via analysis of variance (ANOVA) and cross-lagged panel modelling (CLPM).

Findings of the research indicate that:

  • Plants in the office significantly increased workplace satisfaction, self-reported levels of concentration, and perceived air quality
  • Enriching a previously lean office space with plants increased productivity by 15%

Analyses into the reasons why plants are beneficial, suggests that a green office increases employees' work engagement by making them more physically, cognitively, and emotionally involved in their work.


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