Research from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology monitored productivity levels in two large, commercial offices in the UK and the Netherlands and found that plants in the office can make us up to 15% more productive.
Why does the office need plants?
As the research points out, plants not only bring varying rich shades of green colours to the workplace, they also offer the visually-meditative experience that, ultimately, leads to happier and healthier employees who are more productive.
‘’I keep a small bonsai tree and bamboo tree on my desk in work, and others in the office would have a similar set up,’’ says Sam Carter who works as a sales manager.
‘’The reason we have plants in the office is because they provide therapeutic benefits associated with relaxation. They’re also great for filtering out contaminants in the air. With all the plants around, I always smell a ‘fresh’ natural scent when I walk in, which I find very soothing,’’ she adds.
‘’I have ten plants in my office, which include a giant tree, an orchid, two succulents, a cactus and a money tree,’’ Hannah Holden, who works as a company director says. ‘’ Keeping plants in the office helps me respect the place I work in by encouraging me to take time from my routine tasks to water the plants, remove dead leaves, and adjust their position to receive more or less sun.’’
So, we know that plants have a calming effect, make us more productive and clean the air, but how do we know which plants are the best for the office?
In the office, it’s best to have plants that need the minimum amount of care while still offering the maximum benefits.
Here are some plants that are recommended for the office.
Snake plant – This is one of the easiest of all indoor plants to maintain. It doesn’t need to be watered on a regular schedule and it grows in low, medium or bright light. The snake plant is one of the most recommended plants for improving air quality.
Money plant – This plant is regarded as one of the best plants for purifying air polluted with chemicals such as formaldehyde. It’s also an ideal decoration for bland-looking walls.
Super atom philodendron (philodendron) – ‘’A tidy plant with ruffled leaves and air-purifying powers, it grows equally well under office lights as it does in a sunny window,” says horticulturist, Justin Hancock. ‘’It doesn’t want to be overwatered – once every ten days is fine – so if your workload increases and you’re crazy busy, it will survive a bit of neglect.’’
Spider plant – As with the money plant, the spider plant is commonly used to remove harmful chemicals from the air such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. Its vibrant colouring means it can brighten up the office and it looks especially good in a window.
Moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) – Orchids are known to be tough to grow but the moth orchid is relatively easy. ‘’It thrives in average office conditions and it doesn’t need constant pampering. This type of orchid usually does best when watered once every 10 to 14 days. Its long-lasting blooms add elegance, colour and personality to your space,’’ says Hancock.
Aloe plant – This plant, typically known for its juice and ability to treat cuts and burns, is an ideal plant for the office. It looks great on a window, makes the air smell fresh and battles harmful chemicals such a benzene, which come from chemical-based cleaners and paint.
ZZ plant (Zamioculcas) – ‘’This is a no-fail pick for the office. ZZ can go two weeks or more without water if it needs to and handles just about any lighting situation,’’ says Hancock. Its shiny, dark green foliage is also beautiful to look at.