Working in the same office space day after day can become tiring. I used to work in an office which had minimal windows, and therefore minimal air flow and natural light. I often struggled in this environment, needing frequent breaks to clear my head and refocus. Turns out it was a smart thing to do as a study from Deakin states that air pollution levels inside buildings are actually higher than outside- and office plants have been found to reduce indoor pollution by 75%! Looking back, I wish I knew just how beneficial indoor plants were to my work. I had asked about introducing plants to our workplace, but due to concerns over pests, we ended up purchasing fake plants- which still positively contributed to our workspaces!
According to Gardenista, plants grew in popularity in office spaces with women entering the professional work force in the mid-20th century. The ‘office plant’ trend also moved into houses, and the passion for houseplants in all kinds of households (where they had previously mainly been in upper class homes) was born. Since then, studies have been undertaken which show the benefits of indoor plants, including better air quality which contributes to physical well-being and reduces illness.
It’s not only physical health which indoor plants contribute to- connecting with nature improves concentration, mental health and overall well-being, and for those who may not be able to enjoy the outdoors regularly during their day, bringing nature inside can help them still connect with the outdoors! A study by the University of Queensland found that having plants in an office increases staff mood and productivity by 15%. Colour psychology also has a part to play, as the colour green encourage feelings of calmness and relaxation. Decor which is different to the rest of the environment also help engage and stimulate us, helping us concentrate better and increase creativity!
When employees thrive, so does the business. For those who are self-employed and work from home, looking after yourself ensures that the stresses of running a business are reduced and don’t carry into home life. Plants also help make clients and visitors to your workplace feel at ease and happy, so they’re also a great addition to any salon, meeting room or shop.
While it would be wonderful to have all our favourite plants in our office with us, the same environmental factors which can impact our health (poor air quality, lighting which is too dim or bright) can also impact plants. However there are some plants which not only survive but thrive in these kind of conditions! We’ve collated a list of plants perfect for any kind of office environment.
The Best Indoor Plants for the Office
Pothos, or devil’s ivy is great in low and high light environments and doesn’t have to be watered every day!
ZZ (zamioculcas zamiifolia) plants are great for busy owners as they can survive without water for some time. Even though they prefer lots of light, they can also grow in low light.
Spider plants need minimal water and indirect light.
Snake plant (or mother in law’s tongue!) is another plant which survives in minimal light and with minimal watering, we have one of these in our office. They can survive up to a month without watering,
Succulents are a fun addition to any office and only need weekly watering and a dry air environment. However they also need sunlight. Also watch out for any prickly succulents- their thorns may not be the best for a work environment!
Peace lilies are a popular feature in so many offices for their vibrant leaves and beautiful flowers. However they do require a bit more upkeep, with enough watering to keep their soil wet, and a humid air environment. This upkeep pays off though as they are excellent air purifiers.
Ficus plants are lovely plants needing minimal attention. Just don’t forget about them for longer than a week, and pop them in a spot where they’ll receive at least some sunlight, and no drafts.
That’s not to say that adding plants to your work space or office will automatically improve certain health issues that need to be addressed. Make sure that you encourage your employees or book yourself to see a doctor or counsellor about any work-related physical or mental strains you may have. While plants and nature are incredibly beneficial to our well-being, they are simply one aspect in total well-being.