Lean, Green Office Machine-Plants and Office Environment

Lean, Green Office Machine-Plants and Office Environment

3 Reasons Why You Should Add a Plant to Your Office

Adding a plant to your desk is not only visually appealing, but benefits the overall workplace.

Over the holidays, like many companies do, I joined in with the rest of my coworkers in a Secret Santa. We used a website to coordinate this and to make our wish lists too. My coworker (I’ll call her Amy) had put a few knick knacks on this list, but the one that stood out to her Secret Santa the most was the hanging succulent.

Her reaction to a plant being on Amy’s wish list was, “That’s so Amy.”

A little background on Amy: along with the rest of her coworkers, Amy worked long hours both in and out of the office. Working with a team overseas does that and unfortunately with the cold winter weather, it caused most of the staff including Amy to wind up with a cold.

When it came time to reveal the Secret Santa presents, Amy was excited to receive this little succulent hanging plant, not much bigger than two fists. Most people want gift cards to Amazon or iTunes, but Amy wanted a plant.

You can’t really blame her though. It’s a brutal winter and that little plant brought some life into Amy’s office.

Plants like the hanging succulent, are bring a lot of life into many offices around the world. It’s not so important to the office staff anymore that the front lawn is perfectly manicured; what’s more important to them is that they have astimulating work environment filled with greenery.

And who could blame them? Over the past several years, studies have concluded that adding plants into the workplace creates a better environment for its employees, which in the end produces a better business.

3 Reasons Why You Should Add a Plant to Your Office:

1. An overall cleaner work environment

Remember Amy, the workaholic who developed a cold because she worked too many long hours?

Well maybe if Amy had gotten that plant a little sooner, she wouldn’t have gotten a cold that never seemed to really go away. Office plants can restrain all the nasty toxins or chemicals including mold, formaldehyde, dust mites and chemical cleaning ingredients from floating throughout the air.

CIPHR concluded that dust can be reduced by 20% and that carbon dioxide can be reduced by 50% when there are plants present in the office. So long, allergies! Nice knowing you!

2. Reduce noise (ideal for an open floor plan)

Amy had her own office, but four of her other employees shared an open floor plan. Meaning, every phone conversation and every song played (unless they were using headphones) could be heard by the nearby colleagues.

Try having four people on the phone at one time, all within fifteen feet of each other and see how easy that is! You lose your train of thought pretty fast.

Plants can help combat that issue of noise pollution in an open floor plan. Adding a few cacti will decrease the reverberation time, or the time needed for an original state of sound to reach one millionth of its intensity.

What does that mean?

It means while even though you know Chatty Cathy over there is gossiping about the latest office drama, that plant on your desk is preventing you from hearing her at her fullest volume. Hey, less drama for you and more time to get things done — maybe your boss will let you out a little early, eh?

3. Increases productivity

Now that you don’t have the office gossip’s voice in your ear all day, it’s time to buckle down and get to work! A study, lead by Marlon Nieuwenhuis from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, conducted in large commercial offices in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands proved that the presence of office plants increases productivity rates by 15%. (Oh, the things I could accomplish with an extra 15%!).

Researchers revealed that the addition of plants to the workplace lowered stress levels while increasing concentration and attention span. Another reason to persuade your boss to write off purchasing plants as a business expense!

Now that you know the benefits of adding plants to the workplace, which one do you choose!?

Which office plant is right for you?

Three easy care office plant options:

1. Peace Lily

Don’t want to deal with the cold going around the office like Amy had to? Try adding a peace lily into the mix. Peace lilies are known for reducing pollutants in the surrounding air. Maybe when your coworker leaves that forgotten lunch in the shared refrigerator, it won’t be so pungent either. Peace lilies are easy to maintain: they don’t need a lot of water and only need low to medium light. Plus, they added visual interest to any drab desk.

2. Cacti and Succulents

Some of the most popular plants around, cacti and succulents are great for those new to plants or those who don’t have a green thumb. Like any good office plant, these are easy to maintain.

SInce they retain a lot of water, you don’t have to water them frequently, but they do need a lot of light! Cacti and succulents come in all different sizes so the options are endless. Don’t have a lot of desk space? Grab yourself a small potted plant.

Just make sure it’s not somewhere where you or a coworker can get easily poked by its needles! Or look for hanging one, like Amy’s.

3. Spider Plants

Also known for improving the office air, the spider plant requires very little effort to maintain it.

Not one of the lucky ones to grab a desk by a window? That’s ok! While spider plants need bright light, they don’t need it directly on them to grow. Nor do they need that much water either. Plant experts recommend not watering them to the point that their soil becomes soggy.

Don’t worry if you forgot to water it before leaving the office for the weekend! Spider plants are good with having a little bit of dry spells in between waterings.

So, what are you waiting for? Head to your local garden nursery today to grab an office plant for yourself. Your immune system and and sanity will thank you!

Deborah rosenberg

About Deborah rosenberg

Deborah DiMare is a PETA advocate, was a featured interior designer on TLC, has appeared on NBC’s 'The Today Show' and continually lectures and writes articles on Humane and Sensory Design.

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