We’ve heard the term “going green” quite a bit in recent years. In most cases, this figurative expression means adopting healthy, earth-friendly practices—for example, recycling newspapers and water bottles, conserving power whenever possible and riding our bikes instead of driving. A more literal translation of going green though can benefit employees in a tangible way.
Health Plants, Healthy Office
ScienceDaily recently published a report about researchers at the Cardiff University School of Psychology who found that workplaces with thriving green plants not only have cleaner air, but also work at a higher level of productivity. More specifically, adding plants to an office environment boosted employee output by about 15 percent. Researchers believe that having plants in the workplace not only helps to remove indoor pollutants from the air that can negatively impact concentration and focus, but they can also make employees more involved in what they are doing—cognitively, physically and emotionally.
The Best Office Plants
Fortunately, there are plenty of indoor plants that are relatively easy to add to even the tiniest of offices and cubicles. According to Earth911, the spider plant tops the list of ideal office plants. In addition to being low maintenance, this variegated green plant has been shown to be one of the best choices for reducing air pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Lemon balm is another great choice for the workplace. The fragrant plants are happy in either total sun or shade, which means they will thrive in windowless cubicles. The vibrant lemon scent can also help boost employees’ mood.
Gardening Know How lists the philodendron as another good option for the office. This attractive plant requires little care, which makes it an ideal candidate for busy workplaces where not everyone will have the time or inclination to water it. Like the spider plant, the philodendron helps reduce toxic air levels of VOCs and CO2—both of which have been linked to headaches and low energy levels. The philodendron is a climbing plant, so it does need to be placed in an area where it will have room to creep. If space allows, the philodendron thrives as a hanging potted plant as well. The pothos, with its heart-shaped leaves, is also a great office mate in that it’s easy to care for and thrives in even the worst lighting conditions.
A Greener Office
Adding plants to the office is fairly easy. For example, employers can place a potted plant on their desks and bring life to an office corner with a larger standing planter. Plants can be placed in staff break rooms as table centerpieces, and employees who wish to have one on their desks can be encouraged to do so. Employees can also be rewarded for their achievements with a perky new plant. Online flower retailers make it easy with a selection of potted plants that come ready-to-grow in attractive containers. Company owners and managers can order plants and blooms online and have them delivered to the office along with a card with a note that thanks them for their dedication and hard work.