What if I told you that you could improve the health, efficiency, productivity and morale of your office space for less than $100? Depending on the size of your office space, plants can be the solution to improving all of the above concerns for very little cost. In terms of other efforts, adding plants to your office can yield an excellent return on investment. In most cases, it is only a one-time expense as well. Not surprisingly, plants can help improve the health, efficiency, productivity, and morale of the employees that work in an office or retail space, but it also positively affects the owners, managers, and clients or customers who also visit the space as well. Here are 5 ways that plants help your office space:
- Plants Clean the Air We Breathe: As you probably already know plants provide oxygen through their natural process of photosynthesis; turning carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen. However, what you may not realize is that this air is also cleaned and purified through this process. Plants remove bacteria and germs from the air reducing the possibility of spreading colds and viruses throughout the office. Cleaner air means less colds and sickness, which in turn leads to less sick days and increases productivity and efficiency, not to mention the health of your staff.
- Plants Reduce Heat and Humidity: This really comes in handy in humid climates. During the process of photosynthesis, plants remove moisture from the air, which makes the air much more comfortable and even cooler. Less humidity also helps your air conditioner run more efficiently which is an extra added money saving benefit.
- Plants Add Privacy and Reduce Noise: Plants can come in handy if your office space is small because they reduce noise and add privacy. Plants naturally will absorb some of the excess sounds that are hard to ignore in small office spaces. If you have an open environment office space or cubicles that do not offer enough privacy, lining plants can help create barriers or walls for employees that work more efficiently without distractions or interruptions from neighboring desks or work spaces.
- Plants Add Beauty: Plants add beauty to boring cubicles and otherwise drab office designs. Green is a calming color that helps promote health, wealth, and happiness. Just about everyone enjoys seeing the natural beauty that plants and flowers can bring to a room. Plants can also help with the design of an office space. Placing plants on desk corners rounds out the look of sharp points, which can have a psychological effect of keeping people on edge. The rounded corners add to the aesthetic beauty and keep a level of calmness in the office space.
- Plants Improve Morale: Plants have been known to just make people happy. In addition to the other benefits outlined above, plants reduce stress levels. The combination of less sickness, reduced humidity, added privacy, and reduced noise, pretty plants just make people happier. Morale can also be increased when you allow each employee to choose their own type of plants for their office, desk, or work space.
Implementing Plants in Your Office
One of the first things to consider when choosing to add plants to your office or place of business is to check with your employees to rule out any allergies. If anyone has allergies to specific plants, make sure to remove those from the list of choices. Having a narrow list of choices can also simplify the process and keep you within your budget. There are plenty of low cost plant options and also plenty of hypoallergenic plants that will prevent any problems with allergies. If you are space challenged and cannot find room for plants on top of desks or don’t want to add to the clutter, you can always choose to use a potted plant in a corner or hang a plant from the ceiling or put it on a shelf on the wall. You can always use a blend of the different types of plants in different places including hanging plants, filling corner spaces, or adding decorative accents to the walls in addition to desk tops. When it comes to choosing the right plants, NASA has done extensive research on air purifying plants and has come up with a list of the top 10 plants that clean the air which will help you narrow down your choices:
- Areca Palm: Removes all tested indoor air toxins. It is very easy to care for, and therefore is also a very popular choice.
- Lady Palm: Removes most indoor pollutants and is one of the best plants for improving the air quality in an office space.
- Bamboo Palm: Removes benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. Bamboo has been called lucky by many, but definitely adds a peaceful, even tropical feel to your office environment.
- Rubber Plant: Removes most pollutants, especially formaldehyde. Survives in dim light and can tolerate cool temperatures.
- Dracena Janet Craig: Removes most pollutants, especially trichloroethylene. Does not need much light and is easy to grow.
- English Ivy: Remove most pollutants, especially formaldehyde. Hardy plant that is popular in public places, but does not do well in hot temperatures.
- Dwarf Date Palm: Removes most pollutants, especially xylene. Grows slowly and doesn’t need a lot of light. Can grow to 5 or 6 feet high, so it can start out on a desk, but might need to be moved to a potted plant in a corner.
- Ficus Alii: Removes most pollutants, especially formaldehyde. Makes a great potted plant in the corner.
- Boston Fern: Removes most pollutants, especially formaldehyde. Great for hanging from the ceiling.
- Peace Lily: Removes alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde. Makes a great potted plant in the corner.
The types of plants that will work best for you most likely depend on what grows well in your region of the world. Keep this list in mind, but also consult with an expert at your local plant nursery. That is the best way to find the plants that will work the best for your office space. The last step is to put together a schedule and guidelines for proper care of the plants. Protect your investment by ensuring that the plants are well cared for and thriving. Incorporate this into the daily or weekly office task schedule as needed. You will be surprised at the benefits your employees, your guests, and your business can receive from adding plants to your work environment.