There are plenty of ways that you can improve the morale, health and productivity of your employees, but few of them are as cheap and easy to implement as adding a touch of green to your office. Adding plants to your office can have a number of beneficial effects, from increased concentration to better health. Here are a few of the benefits of office plants, as well as some guidelines for choosing the right plants.
Just like exterior landscaping can help draw the eye and increase the attraction of a space, indoor plants can do the same. Plants provide a more relaxing environment for employees and present a warm atmosphere for customers. Clients and employees typically perceive a building with interior landscaping as more expensive-looking and relaxing, making it a welcoming space to do business.
Indoor plants can have significant positive impact on the health of your employees by combating indoor air pollution and low humidity, both of which are among the top threats to public health. Plants help maintain healthy humidity levels by adding moisture to the air, which can reduce the likelihood of cold or flu. Interior plants also help battle Sick Building Syndrome by scrubbing the air of man-made toxins from the everyday paint, carpets, plastics and cleaners that are used in nearly all offices. These toxins are neutralized by the plant’s root systems and converted to nutrients for the plant.
Studies have shown that even a single plant can have a dramatic impact on the productivity of employees. Physical workspace has been shown to directly affect workers’ ability and effort to finish a given task, so improving the environment can benefit both you and your employee. Plants reduce stress and can enhance productivity by up to 12 percent. Additionally, workers with plants in their offices reported reduced stress and negative work feelings by 30-60 percent, making a more harmonious and healthy workplace.
Selecting Your Plants
While indoor plants certainly have a number of benefits, it is important to choose and care for plants carefully. When selecting your office plants, make sure to remember a few basic rules.
- Obviously, a plant that needs full sunlight won’t do well in your office. Choose low-light, shade-friendly plants or ones that can thrive under fluorescent bulbs. Ivy, ficus, spider plants, petunias and peace lilies are a few great office plants.
- The purpose of the plant should determine which plants you add to your office. If you’re looking for plants to clean your office air, go for something with a lot of leaf area to filter air and remove toxins. Large-leaf plants will also require less sunlight, making them easier to grow indoors.
- Make sure to choose plants that are resistant to pests and that won’t negatively affect your employees. Many plants can cause allergic reactions in people, so be sure to choose plants with only positive side effects.
- Some plants require a lot more work than others, but there are ways you can boost your plant care. Adding a soil conditioner like Soil2O that will hold and release water as necessary can make your plant more forgiving if you forget to water it every day.
- Be sure to properly care for your plant. An untended office plant can become a health hazard, full of pests or decay. The benefits of plants can be reduced significantly if they become unhealthy.