The Benefits of Plants in the Office: Why We Need Nature in the Workplace
Usually, the closest you get to nature when working in an office is a stack of teetering paper printouts and a picture of an inspirational quote under a sunset. However, as humans, we have an innate desire to be close to the environment — a theory called "biophilia" — and when this need isn't met, we can end up feeling disengaged and unmotivated.
As productivity is the key to a business's success, offices must contain links to Mother Earth if they want their employees to work harder and pay more attention to tasks. Luckily you don't need to be Apple or Google to create a wonderfully botanical workspace. Instead, quickly and effectively incorporate indoor office planters filled with foliage into a layout to bring the outdoors in without breaking the bank.
With so many colors, shapes, and sizes of pots and flora available, this guide will help you discover the secret benefits of plants in the office, where to place them, and which ones are best suited to your place of work.
3 Benefits of Indoor Plants in the Office
From reducing the number of illnesses spread between employees to boosting moods and making people feel happier, greenery does a lot more than just make a bland space look visually compelling. Here are three of the biggest perks of including plants in your work area:
Improve indoor air quality. While we all know plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into our atmosphere, they also work wonders cleaning other air-borne contaminants and pollutants such as benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. These nasty toxins are incredibly prevalent in offices, found in everything from photocopiers to carpets, and cause nasal irritation. By removing them, you reduce sneezing and help to halt the spread of germs.
Reduce stress. The daily barrage of emails, deadlines and meetings often results in staff anxiety being all too common in the workplace, impacting how we make decisions and deal with clients and the overall atmosphere of the business. Decorating an office with an abundance of plants provides the same calming benefits as spending time outside. Plus, according to color psychology, green hues have a relaxing effect on the mind.
Increase creativity. Plants are a window to the natural world, providing us with something beautiful to contemplate and allowing our brain's the freedom to think. The surfaces of their leaves also soak up sound waves, reducing noise pollution so you can think clearer.
Where Should You Place Indoor Office Planters?
When deciding where to pop your new indoor planters, the first step is to take a walk around your company's building on the lookout for corners that need brightening, desks that could do with partitioning, and empty shelves that would benefit from a bit of decoration.
Don't only limit plants to the spaces people work. Tubs of bright blooms work wonders in common areas, creating an attractive place for staff to eat lunch, hold informal conversations and recharge after a stressful morning. Or add pots of neatly trimmed shrubs to a foyer as a way of demonstrating your eco credentials and showing that you care about employee wellbeing, wowing new clients, and impressing potential job applicants.
Similar to when you choose furniture or paint to put on your walls, take the time to find planters that fit with your brand and office aesthetic. If you feel overwhelmed by the options, your best bet is to keep shapes and colors coordinated and minimalistic. Black, white, and gray fiberglass planters look sophisticated and modern, enabling the foliage to take center stage while also being lightweight and durable. On the other hand, try to avoid vividly-hued pots and planters unless they match company colors, as they can make decor overpowering.
The Best Plants for Your Workplace
Although there are hundreds of thousands of plant species in the world, it can be tricky finding the ones most suited to an office environment. So, to get you started, here are a few of the most low-maintenance that are easy to keep thriving and won't grow out of control:
Succulents and cacti. Available in a massive array of strange shapes, these plants are virtually armageddon-proof, and they won't complain if your resident waterer goes on holiday for a couple of weeks.
The ZZ plant. Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or as it's most commonly known, the ZZ plant, not only adds a bold dash of green but also has sturdy stalks that can store vast amounts of water and withstand long periods of drought.
Lucky bamboo. Elegant and eye-catching, according to Chinese tradition, the more stalks this type of bamboo has, the luckier it is — perfect for guaranteeing you seal that next deal. Plus, it only needs to be watered once per week and can survive in heavily shaded areas.