How Plants Can Help You Get Ahead at Work

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We sit inside all day with poor lighting, dust and bacteria running rampant, staring at our computer screens. Not a healthy situation. But, there is a way we can boost creativity and productivity, improve the air we breathe, and reduce our stress levels. How? One word: plants. Office plants don’t just brighten up your desk, make your office seem more inviting, and illicit a calming response in the room -  they are also great for improving employee health, happiness and morale. Not to mention their cost-effectiveness. Small desk plants are anywhere from $2-10 which means you can stock up on health-boosting desk plants for under $20.

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Let’s get into the benefits of adding some greenery to that workday flow. Below are the five main reasons to add plants to your work space:

  • Reduced stress: A 2010 study in Australia found a reduction in anxiety by 37%, depression by 58%, and fatigue by 38% where office plants were present. They can also be a source of peaceful contemplation during a hectic workday.

  • Improved air quality: A ratio of 1 plant per 3 employees can reduce the levels of dust, bacteria, and mold that you’re inhaling at work. This is great news for allergy sufferers! Plants can reduce the carbon dioxide levels by as much as 50% and volatile organic compounds (read: toxins) by 87% which is hugely important in keeping you healthy!

  • Mood boost: Plants have a calming effect on our brains and have been shown to increase our mood and mental well-being. This reason goes hand-in-hand with reducing stress. If our stress levels decrease, our mood is likely to increase.

  • Productivity/Concentration: With less carbon dioxide present in the air, studies have shown that cognitive abilities improve. This increases our productivity as we are able to concentrate on a deeper level. Lesser known fact: plants can reduce ambient noise in the office adding to this enhanced concentration effect!

  • Hydration: Plants release roughly 97% of the water they take in which means they increase the moisture in the room, keeping your skin from drying out (flawless!) as well as keeping you from dehydration that results in headaches, dizziness, and low energy. Free all-natural skin care? We’ll take it!

So, now you know why to add plants to your workspace. But, which plants are best? There are factors to consider such as air conditioning, exposure to sun light, and periods in which the office is empty. The best recommendations are: aloe, spider plants, cacti, succulents, ivy, peace lily, and rubber plant. These plants are set to thrive even when you take that occasional three-day weekend!

Want some inspo on how to style your plants? Check out these hashtags on Instagram: #succulents #succulentlove #indoorplants #crazyplantlady . Trust me - after browsing these, your office won’t be bare for very long.

Libby Landry is the founder of Simple Wellness Co., a corporate wellness consulting firm dedicated to making the workplace a healthier and happier place. Libby is passionate about all things health and wellness and believes that it’s the little changes we make that have the most impact. Simple Wellness Co. is based in San Diego, but we never say no to bringing wellness outside of our backyard! 

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