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Indoor Plants – Cost or Investment?

January 13th, 2018

An Investment NOT a Cost

Cost justify office plants using three different methods, they are:

  1. Cost justification, based on productivity gains
  2. Cost justification, based on reduced sick leave
  3. Cost justification, based on owning 11 plants.

Office plants (whether large or small) are easily affordable and justifiable.
It’s all about investing in your human resources to improve employee attitude, increase staff retention and to add value to your triple bottom line.
Good employee attitude and retention is simply a reflection on the employer.
Making the environment a pleasant place to work by investing in plants is one way an employer can look after office staff.

Plants Are Important

We have noticed that when offices are reorganized, staff claim the closest plant and take is with them to their new location.
Studies in America and Australia are showing amazing results in regard to how the plants affect employee attitude and retention.
One study shows a 12% productivity improvement in computer-based trials when indoor plants are present.

Method 1 – Cost Justify Office Plants, Based on Productivity Gains

Image of Spreadsheet Lohr VI et al.,1996, Interior plants may improve worker productivity by 12% and reduce stress in a windowless environment, Environ. Hort., 14:2, 97-100.

Download the spreadsheet and plug in your own figures.

Spreadsheet-based on Productivity Gains

Method 2 – Cost Justify Office Plants, Based on Reduced Sick Leave

Image of Cost Justification spreadsheetFjeld and colleagues (1998, 2002) found that installing indoor plants, office staff sick leave reduced by over 60%.

Download the spreadsheet and plug in your own figures.

Cost Justification based on reduced sick leave


Method 3 – Cost Justify Office Plants, Based on Owning 11 Plants

Image of Cost Justification spreadsheet based on ownership

Some people think they save money by doing it themselves.
Whereas all they probably achieve is:

  • sorry-looking plants and dusty containers,
  • wasting someone’s time, when they could be better employed and
  • downgrading their corporate image.



The cost of maintaining your own plants is close to the cost of hiring them BUT a lot less trouble.
In an office of 10 staff, productivity gains of $60,000 can be achieved therefore the cost is really an investment in your staff.