Gardening has given us some amazing benefits. While caring for plants can reduce stress and give you a good workout (if you’re working in your backyard) introducing flowers in your office can bring a much-needed change in your environment.
As you don’t have a huge amount of space to work with, picking the proper office plants is decremental. Depending on the amount of space that you have available you can work with small and medium plants at best. If your office has the room, however, you can improve the air quality for you and your colleagues with a small office tree! Well, the smell of a freshly mowed lawn is better, but an office plant will do the job, as well.
What are the benefits of having plants in your office?
You sure know that plants improve the quality of the air indoors. And it’s true, they do. But among this amazing gain, you get other improvements that can benefit your physical and mental health.
Plants improve office spaces by:
- Reducing diseases in the air;
- Lowering the stress rate among employees;
- Increasing the overall team creativity;
- Improving the productivity of the workers;
- Making the workplace more attractive
Reducing the sickness level in your office
A study by the Agricultural University of Norway proved that by having plants in your office decrease symptoms of illness by 25%! On top on that, just by placing flowers inside an office improved the concentration of employees and reduced eye irritations and dry skin.
Having plants in the office results in a positive change in the psychosocial working environment and this affects how people assess their state of health. This makes placing plants in the office an inexpensive way to improve the health of employees.
Lowering the stress rate among workers
We, Australians have made our own researches on the topic of how plants can improve our work. A 2010 study by the University of Technology in Sydney concluded that plants do reduce stress levels among office workers.
Whenever plants were introduced in a workspace the results were astounding! A reported 37% decrease in stress and anxiety, a fall of ~45% in anger and hostility and almost 60% drop in depression among workers. Maybe this was a result of the calming abilities of the green colour.
An increase in overall team creativity
With modern jobs demanding more and more from people, creativity has become a must-have among employees. Introducing natural elements in offices results in an increase of 15% in overall team creativity.
A Human Spaces report found that just by looking at nature puts the brain in a calmer and relaxed mode.
Office plants make the employees more productive
A 2014 research by the University of Exeter found that adding just one plant per m2 improves memory retention.
On top of that productivity increases by 15% when offices are introduced with a few plants. However, it’s important that every employee is able to see the plant from his desk. If you’re planning on improving the environment for the whole floor you’ll have to plan the placement of the plants in advance.
Plants in the office can attract new employees
In 2015 a Human Spaces report provided an information that was known but not taken as important – one-third of people would decide if they would join a company based on the office space design.
Among the office space were tested such with and without natural elements in them. It turns out people would choose an office with natural elements over one without. Over an office painted in green paint and one with real plants, once again, people would choose the office space with real plants.
Best Office Desk Plants
As noted above, plants do improve your workspace and can benefit and improve the workflow of employees. But which are the best plants to place inside an office space? Do some plants work better than others?
Worry not, the Fantastic Gardeners of Melbourne have all the answers for you.
For small office plants, that would be a great addition to your desk, succulents seem to be the best option. Australian office workers are averaging 50 hours per week, and people are always busy.
The low-maintenance nature of the succulent allows for fresh looking plants with minimum care. Of course, for those of you who love spending 15 minutes a day destressing by caring for a plant you can grow a succulent in water as well.
Bonsai Grass Pot
While Bonsai plants aren’t the easiest to grow, a Bonsai grass pot is an awesome way to add a bit of fun into your work life. Bonsai grass pots are usually shaped in some fun way, like a little human and the grass is its hair, or they have a more intricate design.
Whatever the pot is, Bonsai grass is a refreshing, and not so common, way to bring a bit of life into your office. As the pots are quite small, they do not require a lot of maintenance, making them a great desk plant.
While they’re succulents, cactuses are among office worker favourites. They’re super low maintenance plants, and some of them don’t ever need repotting. Watering them once a month is more than enough for the plant to survive, so you don’t have an excuse not to add a real plant on your desk.
Best Plants for Around the Office
Desk plants are all cool, but bigger plants around the office create an atmosphere that all workers can experience and benefit from. Bigger plants also double in role – as air purifiers and decoration.
The Viper’s bowstring hemp is an interesting plant that requires little maintenance to thrive. As long as the leaves of the plant are in dark green, the snake plant is doing well. While it can do fairly well in both high and low light conditions, the viper’s bowstring hemp is doing best in indirect light, making it a perfect option for low lit offices.
Another indirect light loving plant that can be a great addition to your office. The Maranta leuconeura plant folds its leaves at night as if it’s praying, and that’s where it derives its name from.
The prayer plants enjoy being moist and should be watered every week or so for it to thrive in the office environment.
The Peace Lily is a low light plant which is can be placed both on a shelf or your desk. This lily is also known as an excellent air purifier, which can be great if your office is full of people.
If the plant wilts every few days repot it in a larger pot that doesn’t need to be watered as often.
Yup! Trees can be grown indoors as well. That is if the environment allows the plant to develop properly. While some small trees will need the proper office infrastructure, other trees are doing perfectly fine in large pots.
Unlike outdoor trees, office trees have smaller trunks, and often don’t grow to be too large.
The parlour palm is a dense palm plant that can be an awesome decoration in every office. They grow to about 1.5 meters, which isn’t too tall, but it can be classified as a tree.
During the growing season of this small tree, it should be watered freely. All of the time the Parlour palm should be in an evenly moist soil. This office tree prefers partial shade, so it can be situated almost anywhere.
Another shrub-like office tree that has a trunk and a crown on top. The Yucca is able to withstand temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius. The Yucca tree grows a little over half a meter in length.
The plant will grow in any type of shading – being able to thrive in full sun, partial or full shade without a problem. The only thing that this plant need is a specially formulated potting mix, as it needs good drainage and the right pH level.
Ficus trees can be grown inside, and they can be great office trees for the first couple of years. Healthy trees can easily grow up to ten meters in ten years, which make the average growth rate of healthy ficus about a meter per year.
They are very adaptable when it comes to growing conditions, so the fig tree can grow both in sunlight and in shade without problems.
During the Spring and Summer months make sure to water the fig office tree normally, and sparingly during the winter period.
Of course, all plants can be interchanged, as long as they’re fitting and aren’t too big to be placed on a shelf, or next to your computer screen. Improving your office space with plants is pretty easy, as most of them need little care in order to grow and they’re more than capable to transform the everyday space around you.