There’s nothing like stepping outside after a long day in the office.
Especially if you’ve been counting down the minutes until you can escape the mounting documents, which seem to have fossilised on your desk.
Whatever the reason behind your restlessness, office plants pump much-needed oxygen into your workspace, and can help fight the Monday blues.
Although this seems like a lot of responsibility to give a humble plant, research backs me up.
If we’re being honest, many of us spend too much time indoors, where the air can be stale and heavy, because of toxins found in paint, building materials and furniture.
We already know that plants recycle the air, by absorbing carbon dioxide and pumping out oxygen. But did you know they can also purify it, by removing chemicals? The fancy word for this process is “phytoremediation”.
Scientists from NASA discovered that indoor plants can reduce toxins in confined spaces. In one experiment, houseplants removed nearly 90 percent of air toxins over 24 hours. Although their research dates back to the eighties, it’s as relevant today as it was then. Their findings show that peace lilies, ivy, ferns and palms are some of the best plants for the job.
This is great news for the workaholics and vampires among us, who rarely venture outside.
And it gets better… indoor plants, the Mozart of the natural world, also boost creativity and focus. A study at the University of Technology found that office plants reduced carbon dioxide levels by 10 to 25 per cent, which improved concentration.
Then there are the pot plants with flowers (more than just a pretty face, thank you very much). An eight-month study in Texas shows that potted flowers add a touch of inspiration to the workplace, and help people think outside the square. There was a measurable boost of fresh ideas, creative performance and problem solving during this period.
There’s something to be said about bringing small reminders of the outside world into your work space. At their best, office plants are vibrant, refreshing and purifying. But if your motivations are less noble, that’s ok too. Your desk plant can moonlight as a living, breathing (preferably prickly) barrier between you and that one grouchy colleague, at the very least.
Some tips for caring for your indoor plant:
The good news is that office plants demand less attention than a pet fish.
When it comes to watering, don’t get carried away, or you may end up with a mess on your hands. For minimal fuss, a good option is Mother in law’s tongue (one of the best plants for improving air quality), which only needs watering once a month.
As a general rule, indirect light is best and you should keep office plants away from drafts, open windows and air-conditioning vents.
Remember, no two varieties are the same. At Natures Colours, our plants come with specific instructions, which are easy to follow. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of your new comrade, without doing much at all.
Too bad the same can’t be said about your tax return, right? If only there was a plant that could take care of that.
Natures Colours has a wide range of indoor plants (with or without decorative pots) suitable for office. Shop for more Office Plants or contact us for more information.
* Image by iStock