Office Plants: The Health Benefits

Office Plants...

Everyone loves plants – they are beautiful, green, luscious and remind us of the great outdoors, vacations and tropical paradises. But how often do you see a flowering plant, succulents and other indoor plants in your office? There has been an emerging trend in recent years (for good reason) to bring more plant life into the workspace and we have explored their benefits and why we have incorporated plant life as a key offering in the Uneebo Comfort Range.

Psychology & Physical Benefits

A vast number of studies have proven that office plants can have many benefits to our psychological well-being and improve our productivity in the office environment such as…

  • Stress-reduction
  • Re-focus attention
  • Positive moods
  • Less tiredness
  • Anxiety Reduction

For interior design, indoor plants add color to your office spaces, look beautiful under the natural light or even low light, and the best way to increase job satisfaction and motivation, which sounds kind of obvious if you think about it, as who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by more natural surroundings as opposed to walls and furniture? A survey of over 200,000 office workers worldwide conducted by Leesman highlighted that bringing elements of the outdoors like plants can boost work output by 15%, and plant specialist Dr Margaret Burchett has said that different plants can reduce physical symptoms of stress by 50% by just having one office plant. It has also been identified by the University of Surrey in the UK that small or large office plants can effectively absorb noise in open plan offices, with their colorful or green leaves absorbing, deflecting and refracting sound as well as absorbing smells! Office plants are also a good idea for assisting humidity levels during different seasons, cooling rooms during the summer and warming rooms during winter.

Air Quality

We all learnt in our biology classes that trees and live plants have a major scientific purpose on earth and that is to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen for us to breathe and live, but let’s dig a little deeper. Most office environments are located in densely populated cities with pollution from traffic fumes which is intensified at certain times of the day and year. This air is full of contaminants that easily finds its way into your air-tight offices’ circulation, no matter how good your air conditioning or ventilation system is. These contaminants can cause a number of distressing health issues for your employees including asthma, allergies and respiratory diseases, but also some less serious day-to-day issues such as headaches, nausea and fatigue which can impact productivity significantly. So how can office plants help? In a double-blind study by Harvard University, their findings discovered that office environments with improved air quality could greatly increase the cognitive function performance of workers. Office plants are a good idea because they are essentially natural filter systems, and when you add these to your air-tight work environment, they work overtime to clean the air and keep you healthy. In fact, an indoor or flowering plant is the best way to purify the air in your office space. A Norwegian study reviewed office workers responses to either having indoor plants in their work space or cubicles over a 2-year period and the results were outstanding when live plants were present:

  • Fatigue reduced by 30%
  • Cough decreased by 37%
  • Dry throat by 25%
  • Dry or flushed skin was reduced by 23%

Plant Recommendations for your Office

We spoke to Julia Bucciero from our partner Bloomscape about the benefits to office plants and her recommendations for the best office plants you could choose for your workspace or cubicle. Julia said “ “, with following plant varieties being her top picks for the office:

  • Fiddle leaf fig– Tall, sculptural and dramatic; indirect sunlight; some direct sunlight
  • ZZ plant– Hardy and graceful with unique, layered green leaves
  • Monstera– Lively and wild with large, tropical green leaves
  • Ponytail Palm– Fun, distinct and hardy, bright, indirect sunlight
  • Ficus Danielle– Classic and sculptural with a braided trunk; also known as a weeping fig or ficus benjamina
  • Dracaena Janet Craig– Whimsical, low-maintenance, survives in indirect sunlight or low light
  • Norfolk Pine– Graceful and easy-going, with soft, delicate needles
  • Majesty Palm– Timeless and regal, with graceful, feathery fronds, indirect sunlight

Others on the list of best office plants include jade plant, parlor palm, peace lilies, snake plants and spider plants, and some are known as succulents. Keep in mind that a weeping fig comes in several forms. Some office plants need more direct sunlight, while others can survive on low light and little water. From low maintenance to high maintenance, small to large office plants, it is easy to find the right plant for your work space.

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