In today’s workplace, many choose to add a pop of color or freshness with desk side flowers or greenery. While visually pleasant, did you know that greenery and flowers can be visually meditative, leading to greater happiness and productivity?
Office plants can certainly brighten an otherwise duller space, but that only scratches the surface when considering the benefits of having plants in your office space.
- They reduce stress. Researchers at Washington State University concluded that blood pressure levels were lower when interior plants were present. Study participants also reported feeling more attentive in rooms containing plants and were 12% more productive than those who worked in an environment without plants.
- They clean the air. Did you know that office buildings – which contain predominantly sealed air – can contain up to ten times more pollutants than fresh air outside? Dust, mold, carbon monoxide and cleaning agents contribute largely to this, and plants can improve air quality by removing these pollutants. “Green” buildings can also reduce “sick building syndrome,” a situation in which building occupants experience health-related effects that seem to be linked directly to the time spent in the building. These effects are marked by headaches and respiratory problems due to stressful or unhealthy factors in the workplace.
- They reduce noise levels. Noise can be a huge distraction in the office, and sometimes our ears need a break from headphones. Studies have shown that plants and their leaves can absorb, diffract or reflect background noise – most effective in offices with hard surfaces.
- They increase creativity. Not unrelated to increased productivity, plants also increase creativity. A Texas A&M study showed that workers’ thinking was more innovative, producing more ideas and solutions in an environment that included plants.
So what plants are best for the office environment? Consider how much natural light your plant will need and how much it needs to be watered. Some of the best plant types for the workplace are succulents (like cacti and aloe), rubber plants and peace lilies. Check out a full list of office plants here.