Several studies find that having plants in the work places boosts focus, and reduce anger, anxiety, and fatigue.
via Triple Pundit:
One recent workplace study found that people have an increased ability to concentrate when working in an office with indoor foliage. The study measured improvement performance on concentration tasks for workers using a reading span test. Half the people had four plants and flowers on their desks and the others had none. The study found that indoor plants and flowers have benefits for improved concentration and reduced fatigue, even when there are outside views of nature.
Another study from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, found that indoor plants reduce anger by 44 percent, anxiety by 37 percent, depression by 58 percent and fatigue by 38 percent. Just one plant can actually make a difference.
A 2002 study found sick leave was reduced by over 60 percent when plants are present in the workplace. The study included schools with indoor plants in classrooms and staff offices. Researchers found a 37 percent reduction in coughing and 30 percent reduction in fatigue. The reduction in coughing may be due in part to increased humidity levels that plants bring due to transpiration.
In many ways, the findings aren’t surprising. The EPA estimates that indoor air often contains pollution levels two to five times higher than outdoor levels. Many offices are located in new buildings that are largely sealed to the outside in the interests of energy efficiency. This can have an impact on indoor air quality, particularly ifmechanical ventilation isn’t used to bring fresh air in and remove stale air.
One advantage to plants is that they are certainly cost effective. If space is limited, they can even be hung from the ceiling. Some plants, such as snake plant, philodendron and peace lily, can thrive in low light. The peace lily in fact showed a strong ability to remove formaldehyde from the air in a NASA study. Many offices are likely to have formaldehyde in particle board furniture, carpeting, older insulation and glues.