There are more reasons to add plants to your office space than just to make it look nicer, although that is not a bad one in itself.
In fact, research has found that office plants can help sharpen your focus, purify the air and keep troublesome colds and flu at bay. Here's a look at some of that research and its findings as well as some suggestions for the ideal office plants to add to your workspace.
Office Plants are Natural Humidifiers
Plants release approximately 97% of the water they take in back into the surrounding air. This means that if several are placed in a space together they can act as a natural humidification system.
A study conducted by researchers from the Agricultural College of Norway found that plants in office environments help reduce the incidence of coughs, colds, sore throats and dry coughs by as much as 32%.
Office Plants As Air Filters
NASA has long understood that plants can be very helpful in improving air quality. However, a recent study found that when it comes to VOCS – which are off gassed by furniture, paint, carpeting and even clothing – indoor plants can be an even better air filters than previously thought.
NASA research found that indoor plants removed 87% of the VOCS measurable in an enclosed room over the course of 24 hours. The researchers also discovered that while VOCs are bad for humans they seem to be OK for plants, as the volatile organic compounds plants drew into their soil seem to be converted into 'plant food' to help them thrive.
Plants As Creativity Boosters
A more productive and creative office environment is something that every manager longs for, and according to researchers from Texas A & M that's what office plants can provide.
They placed one group of workers in an office that contained two potted plants and a bouquet of flowers and another in a room that boasted no plants but two sculptures.
Both groups were then asked to share ideas for a set project. The plant group generated 17%more ideas than their colleagues who had been surrounded by art and in 22% less time.
Choosing the Right Plants for Your Workspace
When choosing a plant for your workspace, make sure it’s suitable for the area — you don’t want a high-maintenance plant, one that grows too quickly or anything that needs a lot of natural light.
The first step to choosing the perfect plant is to determine light levels and space. If your office is windowless or you rely on fluorescent lights, you won’t want a plant that requires a lot of sun. You also have to consider how much space you have available for the plant, and how much care you are willing to provide.
With all this in mind here's a look at some of the best options available to you.
The Best Plants for Reducing Air Contaminants
- Rubber trees
- Corn plants
- English Ivy
- Bamboo Palm
The Best Plants for Low Light Conditions
- Peace Lilly
- Parlor Palm
- Snake Plant
- Boston Fern
- Cast Iron Plant
The Best Low Maintenance Plants
- Chinese Evergreen
- ZZ Plant
- Jade Plant