office plants

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Even if you're not employed by a company that offers Ping-Pong tables, nap rooms and on-site massages, you can get more out of your day with a few simple design tweaks. Productivity may come down to the look and feel of your work area. "What differentiates great offices from average ones is the extent to which employees' basic emotional needs are met," says psychologist Ron Friedman, PhD, author of the new book The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace. Here, five easy changes that get the job done.

Add Some Life

Numerous studies have linked plants in the workplace to improved well-being, and research shows a little greenery may also enhance attention. A report in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that when people were assigned to a room with orchids, a Chinese evergreen and a dwarf umbrella tree, they scored higher on a word recall exercise than those in plant-free rooms. Any plant should do the trick, so if you have a brown thumb, try a hardy succulent.