Have you noticed just how many offices are filled with plants recently? While these look lovely (and are great for Instagram), there’s more to house plants than just aesthetics. Whether you work in a shared office or from home, adding some foliage to your workspace could benefit your health, wellbeing, and even your productivity.
Read on for six of our favourite workplace plants.
Few things can brighten up a room like a house plant. A vibrant splash of green can instantly liven up a bland workspace and make it feel more welcoming. While this can help give clients and guests a good first impression, it can also help employees feel happier. DSE workers, in particular, are often surrounded by tech, so having plants dotted around can offer a welcome break from screen fatigue.
Numerous studies have also shown that plants can reduce stress levels, promote feelings of calm and relaxation, and boost cognitive function. A 2015 study, for instance, found that interacting with indoor plants reduces physiological and psychological stress — particularly for DSE workers surrounded by devices and electrical equipment.
Meanwhile, the Journal of Environmental Psychology discovered that the presence of plants in the workplace can increase employees’ attention spans. A University of Michigan study corroborates the hypothesis, suggesting that a leafy office can improve memory and attention by 20%.
Perhaps this is in part because plants improve the air quality around them. Did you know that high levels of carbon dioxide can make it harder to concentrate? By reducing harmful CO2 levels and boosting oxygen, plants give you more space to breathe and think clearly. They’re also effective at removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can be released by computers, printers, and other electronic equipment. VOC emissions are thought to be carcinogenic and can lead to headaches, nausea, and loss of coordination.
So, it seems house plants can be an affordable and effective way to bring happiness and health benefits to the office. What’s not to like?
Here are some of our favourite plants for the workplace. As well as purifying the air, these varieties are low-maintenance — perfect for busy DSE workers! Just be careful if you have pets around as some plants can be toxic to cats and dogs if ingested. So always check the label on plants you buy and keep any dangerous ones out of the way of your furry friends.
As its name suggests, the peace lily is ideal for evoking a sense of calm. Amongst the green leaves, you’ll find beautiful white flowers that are sure to lift your mood. Moreover, peace lilies are well-known for their air-purifying properties. They’re easy to look after and can thrive in a range of workplace settings. If your peace lily starts to look a little droopy, a drop of water will perk it back up!
Like peace lilies, the snake plant (also known as mother-in-law's tongue) is easy to care for and great for boosting air quality. The snake plant is also thought to help reduce stress and promote a sense of wellbeing.
With their glossy dark green leaves, rubber plants are a striking addition to any office and can thrive in a range of lighting conditions. They are also very forgiving, so even if you forget to water them for a few weeks, they’ll still be going strong. As with the other plants on this list, research shows that rubber plants feature air-purifying properties.
The Dracaena is a popular house plant due to its long life span, ease of care, and vibrant foliage. These plants also help remove toxins from the air.
There are many different species of dracaena, but they all share some common characteristics — most varieties have slender stems topped with tufts of glossy leaves. Because it’s slow-growing, the dracaena doesn’t require much pruning or maintenance, either. However, it does need bright indirect sunlight and occasional watering to stay healthy.
Also known as devil’s ivy, the pothos plant is resilient and fast-growing. With its long trailing vines and heart-shaped leaves, it’s great for hanging from ceilings or placing on top of bookshelves. It doesn’t need a lot of light and can improve air quality, reducing CO2 levels and removing VOCs.
Spider plants are perfect for those who are nervous about looking after plants. They’re prolific growers that can thrive in varying temperatures and light levels. With their long, slender leaves and variegated pattern, they bring an element of cheer to any office space.
A famous NASA experiment discovered that, over a 24-hour period, spider plants removed 95% of toxic formaldehyde from the air within a sealed Plexiglas container. So imagine what they can do for your workspace!
Did you know that spider plants are one of the only popular house plants to produce oxygen at night? This makes them a good addition to your bedroom as well as a home study.
House plants are a wonderful way to brighten up drab offices, reduce stress, and improve air quality — all of which can boost team motivation and productivity. So why not flex your green thumb and fill your office with plants?
If you’re looking for other ways to improve employee wellbeing, explore our desk massage days, nutrition workshops, and workplace mindfulness services. We’re here to help DSE workers become more comfortable, happy, and productive.