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Study: Employees more productive, healthy with nature in the workplace

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Posted at 10:55 AM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 08:42:45-05

Have you looked around your desk at work to see any plants? What about at home?

Studies say bringing nature in makes you happier and more productive. Biophilia is the idea that people have an innate bond with nature.

Take Jason Reed for example, inside his Southwest Baltimore home there's plants in every room, lining the floor underneath windows, hanging in the air, and lining shelves.

He finds it normal, "there is not a moment in the history of our development as a species that we weren't interacting with plants," Reed said.

He grew up in rural Maryland, helping his grandparents on their small farm. He played outdoors and loved nature, something he noticed when he moved to Baltimore in elementary school.

"If you're used to having the woods to run around in, instead you find yourself on the third floor of an apartment building, with maybe you know 100 people living above you, a hundred people living below you... it can become... frustrating," Reed said.

That's how he discovered biophilia. Reed grew up and found nature kept calling him back. He worked at nurseries to pay for college, where he studied music. He then became a music teacher but was laid off in 2008.

The next day he was offered a position with Curtis Bay schools to develop an acre as a student run farm.

He was then offered a job with Furbish, a company that makes huge walls out of plants for businesses, like Underarmour, and casinos across the Northeast.

"People who work in a casino for instance, they probably don't often interact with plants," Reed said.

Now he's using his passion to bring the outdoors in, "plants are food, plants are medicine, plants are danger. I mean they're so loaded with emotion," Reed said.

Reed gave some advice on what you can do if you want to bring plants into your life, without the extra work. He also advised most plants are killed by over watering.