Green roofs have plenty of benefits, including increasing the value of a building and providing a beautiful green space for everyone to enjoy. However, you might not necessarily consider green roofs to play a large part in improving the productivity of workers – but a new study has found exactly that.

The study, carried out by Melbourne University and originally published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, asked 150 students to carry out a repetitive task, which involved pushing buttons that corresponded with numbers on a screen, with a 40 second break half way through the task. During the study, the students were split into two groups: the first group spent their 40 second break looking at a traditional, concrete roof; the second group spent their break looking at a green roof, with a garden installed on it. The study found that, in the work period after the 40 second breaks, the second group of students, those that looked at the green roof, were far more productive than the students in group one, and made far fewer errors in their work. The study found that looking at green spaces during work breaks created “multiple networks of attention”, which as a result made workers more focused and increased concentration. Over time, these networks therefore also increased productivity.

This study suggests that installing a green roof on your office or factory building could increase worker productivity, encourage concentration, and reduce human error. Dr. Kate Lee, the head researcher that carried out the study on behalf of Melbourne University, said that these results categorically prove that looking at nature has a positive effect on our everyday lives. She said that looking at nature is a natural thing that we do when stressed or tired, and so the fact that allowing us to do that in the workplace increases productivity makes perfect sense. Dr. Lee also suggested that if green roofs were rolled out around the city, it could have a dramatic positive effect on the local economy.

You can read more information on this study by visiting the Journal of Environmental Psychology here.