Many offices have flowers and plants for a very important reason; fresh flowers and live plants improve workplace creativity, promote innovation and enhance social interaction.
I’m not just saying that because I love flowers, there’s scientific proof! In 2003 Dr. Roger Ulrich, Behavioral Scientist, Director of the Center for Health Systems and Design, Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas completed the eight month long study “Impacts of Flowers and Plants on Workplace Productivity“. The study consisted of 101 participants with several interesting conclusions:
Participants in Dr. Ulrich’s study were asked to solve creative problems in different typical workplace environments. The workplace environments were decorated with either flowers and plants, sculpture, or a control environment with no added decorative elements.
Participants rated their moods throughout the study, while performing two creativity tasks and one attention demand task. Researchers measured how many ideas each participant generated, as well as the originality and flexibility of those ideas. Evaluations were based on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) and Profile of Mood States (POMS). Dr Ulrich found that both men and women demonstrated more innovative thinking in the environment with flowers and plants. Men generated a 15% more ideas, while women generated more creative and flexible solutions.
“People’s productivity,” said Dr. Ulrich, “in the form of innovation and creative problem solving, improved – which in certain circumstances could be the difference between mild and great business success.”
So, it’s true! Flowers and plants have a beneficial impact on state of mind and emotions and improve workplace creativity. The key to gaining a competitive edge in the modern economy is a happy, productive work force. Idea generation, creative performance and problem solving skills improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants.
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