WESTLAND, Netherlands: A recent online survey of consumers aged between 18 and 70 across four countries uncovered that Germans and Dutch are well aware of the many benefits of houseplants in the workplace. Brits and French may need to learn more about how office plants help bolster productivity and brighten the atmosphere.
The benefit of plants in the workplace has already been scientifically proven. They improve the air quality and concentration, absorb background noise, and have a calming effect on your mind eyes. But do people working from home have the same experience? And do they have plants in their (home) office? In August 2021, research agency Motivaction conducted some research on behalf of the Flower Council of Holland, the marketing arm of the Dutch flower industry.
The Flower Council regularly conducts consumer research and uses the findings to improve campaigns. The reason for this research was related to the Thanks Plants campaign and the trend that more people bought plants during the pandemic. Motivaction conducted an online representative sampling of consumers aged between 18 and 70, living in the Netherlands, Germany, France and the United Kingdom (UK).
Working from home during and after the pandemic
35% of the respondents swapped the office for home working during the pandemic. There is only a small difference between each of the four countries. Of all working respondents, 38% expect to continue working from home partly or entirely in the future. Working from home, or a hybrid working arrangement seems to be the norm when possible.
Plants in the (home) office
68% of people working from home have plants in their home office. Half of these have one or two plants, 24% have three to five plants and 10% have more than five plants. Women are more likely than men to have five or more plants in their home office. German home workers are the biggest plant lovers with 79%, closely followed by the Dutch with 73%. In the UK (64%) and France (56%) it is slightly less common to have plants around your desk.
Office versus home
Of all working respondents, 54% have plants in their official offices. This is also more common in Germany (65%) and the Netherlands (60%) than in France (48%) and the UK (43%). Green foliage plants (64%) are the most popular for the office, followed by flowering plants (32%), succulents (24%) and cacti (18%). More than four out of 10 employees (43%) say they would like to have more plants in their office.
More plants for working from home
Of the respondents who knew that they would be working from home for a longer period of time, more than a quarter (26%) said they had bought one or more plants for their workplace. Once again, we see that the German home workers did this more often (32%) than the British (28%), the Dutch (24%) and the French (20%). Of those who will be working (partly) from home in the coming year, 17% say they will definitely be decorating their home office with (more) plants. 50% say they are considering it.
The joy of plants
And what about the specific benefits of plants in the workplace? 70% of those questioned say that plants generally improve the atmosphere. Women are more positive about this than men: 75% compared to 65%. Of those who also work at the office, 63% think that plants improve the working environment, while 60% of home workers say this. Moreover, 60% recognise that plants improve the atmosphere when they are at home. 58% of the respondents feel that plants have a calming effect on their eyes. Almost one third (31%) say that plants help them to concentrate. Another good thing: 28% of all respondents take better care of their plants now that they are home more often, and 21% say they buy plants more regularly now they are home more often.
Most consumers see the benefits of plants in their (home) office. The Germans are most convinced, while the British may have to get used to the idea. But large groups in the UK also recognise the beneficial effects of plants. Working from home now and future hybrid working both offer opportunities for plant sales. In the Thanks Plants campaign, we also devote attention to the green workplace. Read more about it and make use of the campaign materials.