People–plant Relationships in an Office Workplace: Perceived Benefits for the Workplace and Employees

Jane Dyrhauge Thomsen, Hans H. K. Sønderstrup-Andersen, Renate Müller

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The study presented in this article represents an initial attempt to generate in depth 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 confidence, 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).
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)744-752
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2011

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