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People-plant relationships in an office workplace: preceived benefits for the workplaces and employees

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

Jane Dyrhauge Thomsen, Hans Henrik Krogh Sønderstrup-Andersen, Renate Müller

The study presented in this article represents an initial attempt to generate indepth
information about how ornamental plants in real-life office workplaces interact
with workplace characteristics, thus influencing working environment and well-being
of the employees. Using a qualitative, explorative, and inductive case-study design, the
study provides an example of how a cross-disciplinary unit engaged in administrative
office work at a Danish institution applied ornamental plants. The results document that
ornamental plants are an integrated part of the workplace. The employees used ornamental
plants in numerous ways to either actively manipulate different aspects of the
surroundings or more passively cope with demands from the surroundings. Furthermore,
the use of the ornamental plants was structured by a number of factors:
culture and traditions, provisional orders, organizational structures, practices, values
and history, company policies, and characteristics of the indoor architectural environment.
Ornamental plants were perceived as affecting many aspects of the working
environment (e.g., the physical surroundings, the social climate, image of the workplace,
etc.), the individual’s well-being (e.g., mood, general well-being, emotions, self confi-
dence, etc.), and to some degree the workplace’s competitiveness. However, the actual
effects were the results of a complex interaction among the way the ornamental plants
were applied, characteristics of the present ornamental plants (e.g., size, species and
condition), and characteristics of the individual employee (e.g., personal experiences,
preferences, and values).
Original languageEnglish
JournalHortScience
Volume46
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)744-752
Number of pages9
ISSN0018-5345
StatePublished - 2011

    Research areas

  • BRIC - human issues in horticulture, indoor plants, environmental psycology, qualitative research, occupational health

ID: 33499062