An office enriched with plants makes staff happier and boosts productivity by 15 per cent, a University of Queensland researcher has found.
The study is the first of its kind to assess the long-term impacts of plants in an office environment.
Co-authored by Professor Alex Haslam, the study found that adding plants to an office also improved employee satisfaction and quality of life.
Professor Haslam said a green office helps employees to be more physically, mentally and emotionally involved in their work.
“Office landscaping helps the workplace become a more enjoyable, comfortable and profitable place to be,” he said.
“It appears that in part this is because a green office communicates to employees that their employer cares about them and their welfare.
“Employees from previously lean office environments experienced increased levels of happiness, resulting in a more effective workplace.”
The study was conducted in partnership with researchers from Cardiff University, the University of Exeter and the University of Groningen.
The research team examined the impact ‘lean’ versus ‘green’ office space has on employees from two large commercial offices in the UK and the Netherlands.
The team monitored staff productivity levels over a two-month period, and employees were surveyed to determine perceptions of air quality, concentration, and workplace satisfaction.
“Employees were more satisfied with their workplace and reported increased concentration levels and better perceived air quality in an office with plants,” Professor Haslam said.
“The findings suggest that investing in landscaping an office will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity.”
Professor Haslam also said the findings challenge modern business philosophies that suggest a lean office is a more productive one.
"The 'lean' philosophy has been influential across a wide range of organisational domains,” he said.
“Modern offices and desks have been stripped back to create sparse spaces - our findings question this widespread theory that less is more – sometimes less is just less.”
The study is published today in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.
This was also covered in the following publications:
Tegan Cruwys and Alex Haslam are quoted in these articles on depression. They discuss their research findings that strong social relationships are key in treating and preventing clinical depression.
A survey of 16,000 people from around the world has found high levels of happiness in developed countries. Despite theories about a rise in rates of depression 85 per cent of Australians say they are content, making us the third happiest nation in the world.
Professor Bill Von Hippel joined Walter Williams on 4BC to discuss why we are so merry.
A UQ Psychology study has shown that families can be more effective in protecting children from bullying than school-based strategies alone.
The findings, to be published in the journal Behavior Therapy, show that parents can actively help their children reduce the impact of bullying.
Study author, Karyn Healy said the families of primary school-aged children regularly bullied at school who participated in the study's trial program reported that their children were bullied less and were much less emotionally distressed after the program.
Is it normal for siblings to fight? Recent research suggests that most parents see sibling fighting as normal, that they are concerned about it but still seem to think that their children or grandchildren are getting along well enough.
So how can those messages be so contradictory and if sibling rivalry is healthy and normal, when does it become a problem?
Dr John Pickering discusses 'When siblings fight' on 612 ABC Brisbane.
A global study has mapped brain activity when people give rewards or inflict punishment.
It's shown people enjoy giving to people in their own group in a similar way to receiving a reward themselves.
But the study also found people feel less enjoyment when giving to a group outside their own.
Dr Pascal Molenberghs discusses 'How your brain could be wired to be racist' on 612 ABC Brisbane.
When it comes to romance, the world around us is full of choice - but do you find yourself only dating a particular type?
Bill von Hippel was one of the expert commenters on SBS Insight which explored the issue of cross-cultural dating:
Pascal Molenbergh’s research – which mapped brain activity while volunteers gave electroshocks or money to members of their in-group or out-group – has been featured in MX in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Bill von Hippel is quoted in this Live Science article about the genetic origins of violence.
Established in 2006 from Carrick award received by the School in 2006 for best teaching.
Awarded to the student enrolled in the Bachelor of Psychological Science program who achieves the highest marks across the first year psychology courses PSYC1020, PSYC1030 and PSYC1040 in a given year.
$250 Book Voucher and Certificate.
Australian Psychological Society
Top Student in each year in an APAC accredited four year degree or fourth year (honours).
Recipients of the APS Prize in Psychology will receive a letter from the President of The Australian Psychological Society Limited that recognises the excellence of their achievements in studying psychology, and an offer of 12 months free Associate Membership of the Society, with the waiving of the processing fee, if they make an application within 12 months of completing their program of study in Psychology. AND Recipients of the APS Prize in Psychology will also be encouraged to present a poster on their work by having their conference registration fee paid by the Society if they present a poster based on their thesis, at the Annual Conference of The Australian Psychological Society Limited, in the year following the completion of their program of study.