Benefits of having plants in the office and 11 species

Lifestyle

Benefits of having plants in the office and 11 species

August 12 / 2020

Learn about all the benefits of having plants in the office. In addition, we show you the 11 ideal species to harmonize your workspace.

What is it about natural indoor plants that make us feel so good? No one is entirely sure, but there seems to be something within us that yearns to be close to nature in some way. 

These days, more than ever, the benefits of plants in the office are being studied and the results are compelling. The list of benefits of office plants is growing constantly: greater creativity, higher productivity, lower absenteeism, increased work engagement, etc.

We hear stories about “sick building syndrome” and people talk about being depressed, sick and miserable inside their office. Why is that and how do we stop it?

At Cloudworks we want to make sure you have the best experience within your workspaces. For that reason here we will talk about the benefits of having plants in the office and which are the best species to adopt.

Why is it beneficial to have plants in the office?

Humans have an innate desire to connect with nature, what scientists call “biophilia”. Unfortunately, the spaces in which we tend to spend most of our days, such as the office, tend not to be fully connected to the natural environment.

Studies have shown that decorating the office with plants can have great positive benefits for employees. The same applies to professionals working from home or in coworking spaces. Here are four reasons why you should invest in some plants for your desk or office in general.

They reduce stress: a study conducted in 2010 by the new University of Technology in Sydney, found significant reductions in stress levels among workers when plants were introduced in the office. Results revealed a 37% drop in reported tension and anxiety; a 58% drop in symptoms of depression or despondency; a 44% decrease in anger and hostility; and a 38% reduction in fatigue.

Although the study sample size was small, the researchers concluded that a single natural plant per workspace can lift staff spirits and thereby promote well-being and performance. Proponents of color psychology argue that the color green has a relaxing and calming effect, so decorating the office with greenery could have a similar effect.

They increase productivity: employee productivity rises 15% when work environments are previously filled with office plants, according to a 2014 research by the University of Exeter. Adding just one plant per square foot improved memory retention and helped employees score better on other basic tests. The important thing is that everyone can see a plant from their desk. If you are working in an environment where there is something to positively affect you on a psychological level, then you are happier and work better.

They improve air quality: while humans need oxygen to survive, natural plants are something else. They absorb a gas we don’t need, carbon dioxide, and combine it with water and light to produce energy in a process called photosynthesis. In the 1980s, NASA scientists discovered that plants were adept at removing chemicals such as benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air.

Considered by many a superpower, this quality cleans the air we humans breathe. Recent research led by Dr. Fraser Torpy, director of the Plants and Indoor Environmental Quality Research Group at the University of Technology Sydney, has found that office plants can help reduce carbon dioxide levels by approximately 10% in air-conditioned locations, and by approximately 25% in non-air-conditioned facilities.

They dampen noise: by absorbing sound, plants help reduce the distracting effects of background chatter in the office. Placing larger plant pots in the edges and corners of a room can isolate you from noise and help you calm down and focus.

11 species of office plants

Not all plants will love living in your workplace; some of them need more sunlight or air currents to be happy. You should take into account the preferences of each species, such as the availability of daylight and the frequency with which they can and will be watered, when choosing a green companion. 

The natural plants that will thrive most in the workplace are the following:

Aloe vera

Aloe vera plants are easy to grow, as long as they are supplied with one essential ingredient: plenty of sunlight. If there is a desk near a sunny window, place it there, as these succulents only need to be watered every two weeks. 

The standard Aloe Barbadensis is attractive enough for any modern desktop space; however, if you prefer, you can explore other subspecies such as the dwarf ‘Minibelle’ or ‘Tiger Tooth’. Grow them in a pot that facilitates water circulation.

Cactus

Cacti are an excellent choice for decorating the office with plants because there are so many different types; some even bloom at certain times of the year. Best of all, they don’t require too much care, making them perfect for busy professionals. 

Peace lily

This plant, also known as Spathiphyllum Wallisii, is native to Mexico and in addition to purifying the air, it has another superpower. Spathiphyllum can neutralize electromagnetic waves produced by monitors and other electrical devices. Unlike the previous species, this office plant does not require a lot of light, but it does require humidity. 

Philodendron

These make perfect office plants because there are so many different types. Some suggest that there are more than 900 species. Philodendrons have large and even imposing oval or lance-shaped leaves. There are two main groups of philodendrons: climbing (vine) and non-climbing (solitary, non-vine).

Phytonia

Phytonia is a simple, but very beautiful plant. There are species that present color contrasts such as green and white or green and violet. They are natural plants that do not need much light, but they do need enough water. 

Kentia

Several types of palms, such as the Rhapis palm and the Kentia palm, are great for decorating the office with plants if you’re looking for something a bit taller. To live well they need medium to low light, but in reality they do not really require little maintenance. Its leaves can grow very large and need moisture.

Lavender

Offices that are spacious can house lavender to enchant everyone with its color and scent. It is ideal to encourage inner peace and conflict resolution, so if you work in a busy place, this plant will be your new ally.

Mother-in-law’s tongue

The tough nature of Sansevieria, also known as snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, means it can grow until you retire. Not all snake plants grow the same. Read the plant label carefully to avoid choosing a specimen that grows several feet tall. You can opt for subspecies such as ‘Futura Superba’ or ‘Whitney’. Perfect for beginners, you can water them every Friday and they will be happy.

Monstera

Eye-catching plants, ideal for spacious office and to charge the atmosphere with freshness. They are demanding of a lot of sunlight, but only require a little constant watering to maintain that stunning green. 

Potho

Plants that have large green leaves. They are flowering plants and cover a wide variety used indoors. Pothos are extremely popular with professionals for of their adaptability; it is almost as if they have evolved to grow within the confines of an office.

Sanseviera

A genus of flowering plants that are native to Africa. They tend to have long, tall, green leaves around a central growing point. They usually produce flowers of different colors: greenish white, lilac red or brown. Sansevieria is best grown in low sunlight.

Succulents

Last but not least. Succulents are plants with thick, fleshy leaves that allow them to retain a lot of water. They tend to need a lot of light, so watch out for that, but these plants are famously drought resistant. Avoid overwatering them.Surely you have already thought about which plant is the best fit for your office – and you have discovered many species with this article -. And if you are also interested in a space with the best benefits, visit our website and check out all services offered by Cloudworks.