Plants reduce complaints of minor ailments, improve the feeling of well-being and also reduce stress levels.
Plants also absorb noise and reduce dust.
Houseplants such as Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily), African violet, Epipremum (Devil's Ivy) and Ficus pumila raise office humidity levels by 2-5 percent making the office/shop atmosphere more comfortable.
In an American study, Professor Virginia Lohr found that plants in the workplace had a marked impact on employee concentration: workers surrounded by vegetation were found to be 12 percent more productive.
The Confederation of British Industry last year published figures that showed that 1 in 5 workers will take time off work because of stress. In 1999 this meant the loss of 6.7 million working days. According to the Health and Safety Executive, the cost of this was around £7 billion last year.
Indoor plants can reduce absenteeism. In one study, the introduction of houseplants reduced sickies by 10 percent.
And, of course, plants are pretty. So, not only does a lush display of plants look good as an outdoorsy backdrop in a bikeshop, it's scientifically proven they make you feel good too. Happy workers = happy customers.
There's tons more vegetation info on the website of Plants for People, the organiser of the symposium in Holland.