Flower Power

The Society of American Florists and Texas A&M University has found that flowers and plants can help make business people more productive and creative. While the report isn't publicly accessible, a recent edition of 48 Days' email newsletter has the following to say:

Men generated 15 percent more ideas when working in environments with flowers and plants. While men generate a greater abundance of ideas, the research shows that females generate more creative, flexible solutions to problems in workplace environments with flowers and plants.

I have two questions. One, if any FC Now readers have a direct link to this research, could you send me a URL so I can check it? Also, what's your take? It seems simple, but do you think adding flowers and plants to your workspace can help increase creativity and innovation? Increase productivity?

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  • Avi Solomon

    Also, Prof. Roger Ulrich is the leading researcher on the healing qualities of Gardens:
    Gardens Have The Potential To Improve Health
    See Prof. Ulrich's Research Paper:
    Health Benefits of Gardens in Hospitals

  • Avi Solomon

    Finally found the NASA research papers on Indoor Plant Benefits:
    Dr. Wolverton's Interior Landscape Plants Research

  • Mark Fusco

    True story -
    A few weeks ago my wife gave me a dozen fake sunflowers to liven up my office (which isn't "drab" by any means, but the flowers added a nice touch)

    Prior to receiving the flowers I had been stuck on an idea for a marketing campaign. However, not too long ago - while sitting back in my chair stumped for creative ideas and looking at the flowers - a concept came to mind.

    Therefore, from my experience, yes - flowers can be beneficial to germinating [pun intended] ideas.

  • Justin Hitt

    While I haven't seen specific research that flowers make you smarter or more creative, lots of research has been done on the ability of color to change attitude.

    Plants also tend to soften the environment which generally relaxes people. More relaxed people tend to be have less interfering with idea creation.

    A design firm summarizes other benefits of plants in work environments; ranging from improving sales to presenting a more positive work environment. Various other companies cite NASA research about the environment improvemnts plants bring, but few provide links to hard research.

    This would be an interesting topic to cover in a future Fast Company article.


    Justin Hitt
    Consultant, Author & Speaker

  • Rob

    Pretty interesting stuff. I think you should publish a blurb about it in the next FC magazine.

  • Curt Rosengren

    This research sounds like the latest in a number of studies I've seen on the impact of plants on the work environment. According to various studies, plants have the capacity to make employees (or whoever is in the office space):

    * Smarter
    * More relaxed
    * More productive
    * And with this study, more creative and more prolific with ideas

    Here are a couple links to study descriptions I've run across (unfortunately not the studies themselves - just articles mentioning them)...

    A study at the University of Reading finds plants make you smarter.

    A study by Oxford Brookes University finds plants reduce anxiety.

    Research done by Dr. Roger S. Ulrich of Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, and Helen Russell of University of Surrey, West Sussex, as well as the recent studies conducted by Dr. Virginia Lohr of Washington State University, Pullman, WA, that plants significantly lower workplace stress and enhance productivity.

    I've also seen studies on improved health because of reduced molds, etc.

  • David Paull

    It's an interesting concept and one that is not hard for me to believe. Flowers and plants are colorful and more importantly, alive. With offices and cubes often containing dull, monochromatic colors and comprising vast amounts of plastic and metal, something as natural and colorful and plans and flowers can provide stimulation in an otherwise muted environment. I would also be curious to see research on how colorful art and other visually stimulating items effect productivity and creative thinking.