Bodies of research have shown the benefits of having office plants in one’s workplace. The presence of nature at work is linked to higher job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and better mental health outcomes for employees.* Office plants have also been linked to mitigating the stress that people experience at work. But what about the most high-stress careers? Can office plants benefit even those employees?
Right now, more than ever, people who work in the medical field are experiencing major stress at their workplace. Research indicates that contact with nature can help alleviate occupational stress even among those who rate their jobs as being highly stressful.**
One study in particular looked at work outcomes for nurses, who rate themselves as having high levels of work-related stress. Nurses reported a reduction in stress when their employers promoted a health-forward work atmosphere, including an increase in nature contact at work. The study suggested that nature contact at work could lead to a reduction in perceived stress at work for medical professionals. A decrease in perceived stress can lead to improved mental health and job satisfaction.
Most interestingly, research has found that decreasing stress among nurses can lead to better job performance. In fact, mitigating work stress has been indicated to be a key factor in improving nurses’ performance at work. This means that office plants can benefit employees, employers, and even patients.
One way that a medical employer can cause positive change is with office plants. They are a simple and efficient way to increase nature contact at work, thereby improving the health of their employees.
*Evensen, K. H., Raanaas, R. K., Hägerhäll, C. M., Johansson, M., & Patil, G. G. (2017). Nature in the office: An environmental assessment study. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 34(2), 133–146.
**Scanlon, M. M. (2017). Occupational stress risk assessment: Assessing the impact of health promotion lifestyle and perceived nature contact on nursing health and wellness [ProQuest Information & Learning]. In Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering (Vol. 78, Issue 5–B(E)).