Office plants can reduce sick leave, study finds

People who work in an office that has plants in it call in sick 20 percent less often than people working in rooms with no plants, according to research by Wageningen University and scientific company Fytagoras. Having plants in the workplace amounts to an average of 1.6 sick days less per employee per year, the researchers concluded, RTL Nieuws reports.

The researchers compared workplaces with plants and without plants, placing sensors in the rooms to determine the physical differences in the indoor climate. Employees who worked in these spaces were also questioned about the workplace, the indoor climate, the working atmosphere, their state of mind, wellbeing and health, both before and after plants were placed. 

The humidity in rooms with plants was on average about 5 percent higher than in rooms with no plants. The temperature also turned out to be more pleasant in rooms with plants - employees experienced the temperature as too hot or too cold less quickly. 

Plants also had a noticeable affect on employees' state of mind, according to the researchers. They felt more positive and the employees of one company reported that they were less worried about work outside working hours.