This Is Why Your Home Office Needs More Plants
When you think of home office behaviors that will help you excel — and potentially get promoted — we’re sure the last factors you’re thinking about are plants.
However, new research suggests that plants should be high on our list of priorities when creating a pleasant work environment. According to scientists from the University of Exeter, plants can boost productivity and well-being by 47%!
Surprised? We are, too.
Apparently, there’s nothing like a little greenery to put some pep in your step. Beyond boosting productivity and well-being, workers in the study also experienced higher levels of creativity. Top that with the increase in memory retention, and you’ve got a recipe for workplace success.
But the plants themselves aren’t the only reason for these unexpected results. The findings suggest that allowing staff to make their own decisions in the workplace — like choosing subtle décor changes, such as plants — can add to these benefits. Workplace autonomy and workplace greenery go hand in hand.
In a pre-coronavirus world, the trend of plants in workplaces was catching on quickly. At Amazon HQ, Zappos' parent company, a new cloud forest has been installed for employees to hold meetings and for locals to visit. The peaceful area features immense greenery, taking employees away from their typical workspace and transporting them to a lush oasis.
“[The plants] provide something that is missing from a typical office space, a direct link to nature,” Amazon announced on its Day One blog. “Treehouse meeting rooms, river and waterfall features, palladiums, a four-story living wall, and epiphytic trees are just some of the unique features within this one-of-a-kind space.”
Of course, not all offices are capable of having impressive cloud forests. But lucky for you, even desk plants allow employees to reap the benefits of improved productivity. There are a plethora of plants that are suitable for home office environments — many of which are quite low maintenance — so there’s no reason you shouldn’t give this workplace hack a try.
You’ll find that beyond the performance boost, each plant has added benefits of which to take advantage.
Here are five easy-care plants we recommend:
English Ivy plants are great for home offices with poor air circulation. They're known for their incredible ability to remove formaldehyde and airborne fecal matter (ew!) from the air around you.
Incredibly low maintenance and perfect for busy employees, this plant needs enough water to keep the soil moist while growing. After this initial phase, English Ivy can tolerate dry conditions and low light.
Rubber Tree Plant
Rubber Tree plants are also known for their air cleaning benefits, specifically carbon monoxide removal — which these plants conveniently turn into breathable oxygen. Additionally, Rubber Tree plants have antibacterial effects and eliminate mold spores from the air. For stuffier home offices, in particular, they are worth considering.
When it comes to Rubber Trees, they’re rather resistant to neglect — aka you don’t need a green thumb to own one. Rubber Tree plants are low maintenance, and you only need to water them once or twice a month when they’re dormant. But beware: they can grow up to 8 feet tall! So if you’re planning on sitting tight at your job for the long run, you better have high ceilings.
Orchids offer stress relief via aromatherapy, serve as a natural fragrance, and eliminate toxins in the air. Like many plants that purify the air around it, orchids are good for freshening up the workplace. Because of their pleasant smell, you get the added benefit of a light aroma around your desk. And to top it all off, that aroma has been proven to relieve stress, making it a perfect plant for an intense and fast-paced home office environment.
While orchids don’t need an extraordinary amount of sun, they do need some light to survive. Indirect light is the best for growing orchids indoors, so if you can place the potted plant near a curtained window, you’ll be good to go.
Peace Lilies are one of the best plants for detoxifying air. Breaking down toxic gases like benzene, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, they do heavy duty work while looking lovely in the process.
Like many of our favorite home office plants, Peace Lilies are low maintenance, only needing to water once or twice a month when dormant. Shade, not sun, is best for these lilies to grow, so you don’t need a corner window to grow these beauties. Bonus: most home office plants don’t fall high on the aesthetic scale, but the white blooms that will occasionally sprout might be your new favorite.
Yet another plant that purifies the air of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, Pothos is a practical option for the alternative workplace. If more vibrant plants like lilies aren’t your thing, the subtly signature heart-shaped leaves of the Pothos plant are a more demure choice for your home office.
The Pothos plant can withstand low light and chilly temperatures. Not needing constant attention, you’ll intuitively know when to water the Pothos plant since the leaves will begin to droop when it lacks good old H2O.
It's time to bring the greenery into your home office and reap the benefits! There are a plethora of plants that are suitable for the workplace, so be sure to pick the one that’s best for you and your career!