One of the benefits of working from home is the ability to design an office space that inspires and motivates you. A great way to create an environment that is healthy and productive is with office plants.
Benefits of Plants in the Home Office
Research shows that plants improve air quality, health, mood, and productivity. Here’s how:
- Air Filter: Research from NASA shows that plants can remove toxins from the air. Don’t think you have harmful chemicals in your office? Think again. Chemicals are found in furniture, carpets, pen and printer ink and more.
- Improved Health: Research from Norway (PDF) indicates that plants can reduce illness rates, including ailments such as a headaches, dry eyes, cough, and more. Plants are also natural humidifiers, which can reduce incidents of dry skin, sore throat, and dry coughs.
- Mood Enhancer: Office plants can reduce stress, boost mood, and improve perceptions of the workspace (make it a more appealing place to be).
- Increased Productivity: It goes without saying that good health and attitude leads to good productivity. Research suggests that plants also increase alertness and attentiveness, which is important to getting things done, as well. A Texas A&M study showed plants can improve creativity, another important factor in productivity.
Things to Consider When Choosing an Office Plant
Office plants are affordable and offer so many great benefits, but before you run out to the nursery, here are a few things you need to consider when buying plants.
- Space: Like humans, plants need good air flow. You don’t want to shove plants behind or in-between furniture or walls. It should be in a location that has good air circulation. If you’re in a tiny, cramped space, you’ll want to leave the door open at times so the plant can get some air.
- Lightening: Plants vary on their lighting needs. If your office is in a room without windows or natural light, you’ll want to choose a plant that doesn’t need a lot of light to thrive. If you do have good lighting, be careful where you place a plant that doesn’t like direct sunlight.
- Maintenance Needs: If you’ve never cared for a plant or don’t have a green thumb, consider plants that don’t need a lot of care. Some plants thrive on minimal watering. Others need regular care including pruning, replanting to a larger pot, and careful monitoring of water level (it is possible to over-water a plant, as well as under-water it.)
Great Plants for the Home Office
There are many great options for office plants, The plants listed below are ones often cited in research as being optimal for cleaning the air and offering other health perks.
Spider Plant (Chrolophytum comosum): This green and white striped plant can be planted in a hanging pot or set on a high shelf making it ideal for small spaces. It doesn’t need a lot of sun and can survive with infrequent watering.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata): Similar to the spider plant, a snake plant is hearty enough to survive in many environments, or if their owner frequently forgets to water it.
Philodendron: This green lush plant comes in both vine and non-climbing varieties. It’s ideal for the person who has never cared for a plant or doesn’t have a green thumb as it’s extremely hearty. It likes bright, indirect sunlight, so it’s best in an office that has a window and natural light.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum): Peace lilies have pretty white flowers to add a little more flair to the office. If your office is low on natural light, the peace lily might be the plant for you as it likes shade. However, you don’t want to let the soil dry out, so be sure to check if your plant needs water.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata bostoniensis): A fern is a common home and office plant. However, it requires regular care. It doesn’t survive well in excessive heat or dryness. They like humidity so you’ll want to check that the soil is moist and consider misting the leaves at least once a week.
Air Plants (Tillandsia): When it comes to simple care, few plants are easier than air plants, which don’t need soil. Air plants can be displayed in a variety of ways such as on rocks or driftwood, in pretty glass jars, or wherever your creative mind can think of. They’re small, making them ideal for offices that have limited space.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema): The Chinese Evergreen offers a little more visual variety as it’s leaves are green with a reddish accent. It also thrives well in low light and little maintenance. It’s a fairly hearty plant, although it doesn’t like the cold, so keep your office above 55 degrees.