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Forget the coffee machine or even chocolates

A third of people who were asked to choose between a coffee machine, fruit baskets, a vase of flowers, chocolates and living plants for their office, chose living plants first a study has revealed.

A survey of 129 companies last month in Australia and New Zealand revealed that Australians were even more inclined to living plants with 41% choosing them first - almost more than twice the percentage of the next choice, a coffee machine (22%). The next choice, a vase of flowers, was the choice of 19%. New Zealanders were more equally divided with 26% choosing living plants, 26% choosing a coffee machine and 27% for the vase of flowers.

“We were surprised by the result – we certainly thought that people would see greater benefit in something they could consume rather than just enjoy! “ said the Asia Pacific Regional Director for Ambius, Mr Ray Borg.

“We found that Australian office workers were much more positive about plants and their value than their counterparts in New Zealand. It is possibly because of an awareness of the research work done in Australia on plants’ contribution to indoor air quality and productivity,” said Mr Borg.

Other main findings included:

  • 84% felt that a living plant at their desk made them feel more relaxed (90% Aus, 77% NZ);

  • 83% felt more uplifted with a plant around( 90% Aus, 75% NZ);

  • 88% said they helped improve the overall office mood (95% Aus, 82% NZ);

  • 78% felt that plants helped improve indoor air quality (82% Aus, 75% NZ); &

  • 73% said they also helped reduce negative feelings (76% Aus, 70% NZ)

    More New Zealanders (87%) thought plants make an office feel more welcoming, compared with 79% of Australians. Only 34% overall thought that plants helped reduce noise around their workspaces. Ambius, one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading indoor plant suppliers, conducted the survey to assess the perceived value of plants in the workplace. There were 62 company participants from Australia and 67 from New Zealand. “The survey confirmed some of the findings of research conducted at Sydney University of Technology – that plants in an office do have a positive effect on emotions and productivity, as well as clean the toxins from the air,” said Mr Borg.

    “The study was also conducted after a new plant/life balance campaign had begun by Nursery & Garden Industry Australia so results may also reflect the success of that.”


    Anne Briggs, Marketing and Communications Manager, Ambius Pacific

    T: 02 6629-5084 E:

    Ray Borg, Regional Director, Ambius Asia Pacific

    T: 0 2 8719-6100 E:

    Released for Ambius by Green PR, Neville Sloss 0414562010,

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