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Healthy Living @ Work

By Alison McPherson | Sustainable Living, Urban Design

In between views of high rises and skyscrapers, many urbanites seek more encounters with nature at work. If your view is looking out at the next building over or is consisting of a cubicle wall, chances are you could benefit from having more views of greenery.

Benefits Of Indoor Plants At The Office

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Natural Office. Image Via Eco-Office Gals.

Research has shown that there are benefits associated with having greenery in the workplace. Some of these include*:

  • Increased memory and concentration due to plants providing a calming environment, allowing people to relax and concentrate on the task at hand
  • Induced relaxation from finding the natural beauty of plants visually soothing
  • Improved performance from feelings of added energy and vitality
  • Better relationships with others for those who spend extended lengths of time around plants
  • Improved air quality, where certain plants filter harmful substances in the air

With benefits like these, why not bring plants to work? Sure, you may not have the ability to place plants in your office’s shared spaces, but what about bringing them in your own workspace. Looking around, you may have available space where greenery could thrive. Some places to consider are on your desk within view of your monitor. If you’re working under fluorescent lights, then a Spider Plant could work well. Or, if your desk space is particularly limited, then consider a small space solution like a terrarium, with its added benefit of being low maintenance. Another place to consider is a little pocket of floor space. For this you would want a plant with a slightly larger footprint, like a Mother-in-Law’s Tongue or a Rubber Plant. Having a plant greet you when you enter your workspace is welcoming to both you and your visitors. Another spot is on top of a cabinet, either a filing cabinet or an overhead cabinet. Philodendrons act as great office plants, and their trailing leafiness can cascade over a cabinet’s edge, creating a lush, miniature green wall. Overall, there are a whole host of indoor plants that do well in office environments. With a little research or a trip to your local garden center for assistance, you can find a plant that fits both your office environment and your aesthetic preference.

Considerations For Office Plants And Greenery

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Office Grass Pad. Image via Tree Hugger.

Before making your first purchase, there are some items to take into consideration:

  • Office lighting – what is the predominant light source in your workspace? Is your space flooded with natural light or do you work under fluorescent lighting?
  • Indoor climate – is the temperature in your space usually cold from air-conditioning, hot from solar gain, or evenly regulated?
  • Available space – how much space do you have available to dedicate to plants?
  • Maintenance {watering, pruning, dusting} – do you enjoy spending time tending to plants or are you interested in low-maintenance varieties.
  • Coworkers – you may want to ask your neighbors first if they have any allergies to pollen or mold. If there are allergies to pollen, then you would want to avoid any flowering plants. As for mold, soil that is constantly damp without exposure to the sun can lead to mold, so you’ll want to monitor its moisture level before watering. (Plus, continued over-watering can lead to root rot.)

However you answer, there are good options from which to choose. If you are new to gardening and want to assure the best rate of success, then visit your local garden center with your information from the questions above and ask for assistance in picking out a well-suited plant.

Happy Gardening!
Chuckle Farm

*For additional info on the health and well-being benefits of bringing greenery into your workspace, check out Health And Well-Being Benefits Of Plants, The Benefits Of Plants In The Workplace, and Green Cities: Good Health, Mental Health & Function.

About The Author

Alison McPherson
Alison found a love for indoor gardening after realizing the disconnect she had developed between herself and nature. She combined her new found passion with her experience in high-quality, luxury product development and created a line of artfully hand-crafted ceramic planters, Chuckle Farm. Urban gardeners are at the heart of her business and so Alison is happy to offer her expert knowledge to the readers of PowerHouse Growers.