Here’s all you need to know about the benefits of plants, their potential impact on job performance, and some of the best office plants for sprucing up your workspace.
Benefits of Plants in the Office: Why Are Plants Good for the Office?
After more than two years of remote work, many employees would probably appreciate coming back to a homey atmosphere. This is where office plants come in, which are perfect for evoking a sense of calm and comfort and making a space feel more inviting. In fact, psychologists at the University of Surrey found that biophilic design (the use of natural elements indoors) can promote stress reduction and enhance overall mood.
That’s because looking at natural scenery activates the brain’s pleasure center, explains a study in the PLOS One Journal. According to the researchers, “Natural elements and sunlight exposure related positively to job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and negatively to depressed mood and anxiety.”
Just looking at a real plant, reveals the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health “can induce physiological relaxation and reduce stress, tension, and anxiety.”
Not only can office plants improve morale, but it also turns out they can have an impact on your organization’s bottom line: As research from the University of Exeter points out, enhancing a space with office plants can lead to 15 percent more productivity by boosting employees’ physical, cognitive, and emotional investment in their work.
What Are the Best Plants to Keep in Office?
Looking for good office plants? When picking a plant variety for the office, look for species that are:
- Low maintenance enough to thrive indoors with minimal access to direct sunlight
- Mostly green — this color relieves stress and anxiety, whereas plants with red leaves or flowers can be draining to look at for long periods of time, note the University of Surrey researchers
- Natural air purifiers — as plants that remove toxins from the atmosphere boost overall immune function, reports Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, which means less absenteeism
Best Office Plants
Here are the 10 best office plants to consider:
- Snake plant
- Lucky bamboo
- Zanzibar gem
- Peace lily
- Bird’s nest fern
- Spider plant
- English ivy
- Neon pothos
- Jade plant
Caring for Office Plants
Fortunately, taking care of office plants like the ones listed above doesn’t have to require a huge time commitment. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind:
Don’t forget to “feed” your office plants. Plants don’t just need water — they also need key nutrients to thrive. Look for a plant food best suited to your species of plant and their stage of life and follow directions carefully on when to feed them — as it’s possible to both overfeed and underfeed plants.
Know how much light is needed. All the plant varieties listed above can grow in a moderate to the low-light environment, but they’ll need at least some access to light to remain healthy. Natural light is the best option, so situate your plants close to a window, if possible, but a grow lamp with about a 4,000–6,000K bulb will work too. You may want to experiment with a few different locations around the office until you find just the right corner for your plants to soak in the light.
Strike the perfect watering balance. Some plants need water several times a week, while others only require it once or twice a month. Research the correct water frequency and amount for your species; too much water damages the root system, while not enough causes the leaves to wilt or droop. One way to find out if your plant needs water is to check the soil. If it’s damp, hold off on watering and allow the moisture to absorb entirely, but if it’s parched, this is a sign your plant could use some more H2O.
Portions of this article originally appeared on the Quill.com website.
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