Why Bother With Plants?
The thought of plants in the office may seem like a bit of a chore. They need to be watered, and even repotted at times. Someone in the office has to take the responsibility of remembering to water them. “What is the point of plants?” you may ask yourself. Well, here are some of the benefits that they can they bring to the office environment:
Plants Look Attractive: There are many different plants to choose from, and different varieties go in and out of fashion like many other things. The spider plants and ferns that were so fashionable in the seventies may be beginning to make a bit of a comeback, and with good reason as they look attractive and require minimal care and attention. Some plants flower regularly and will need “dead-heading”, but others, such as cacti, bamboo, and air-plants can be almost completely left alone. If your office has enough space, potted trees are the best choice for improving air-quality levels. They are also brilliant at reducing pollution and maintaining an ambient temperature. Plants, as long as they are healthy, instantly make offices seem more friendly and welcoming places.
People Need Plants: Plants can be found in many offices, and there are good reasons for this. Firstly, offices are not the most attractive places in the world and plants are a good way of brightening them up, without costing too much. Humans can feel depressed in environments that feel too unnatural, without any greenness. Office furniture is often dull and uninspiring. Some offices are even windowless and without any natural light. This is unhealthy for humans; scientists have even identified an illness called “Sick Building Syndrome” that is a side-effect of spending too much time in an artificial and unhealthy environment. Plants are essential for people’s well-being.
Plants Improve Air Quality: Some offices, such as call-centres, are places where many people work in a relatively small space. The rooms can rapidly become stuffy and smelly, especially if people are allowed to eat snacks, or even their lunch, at their desks. Most people have had the unfortunate experience of working alongside a colleague with a poor standard of personal hygiene. Plants can help to combat the stress that people feel when working in a room that is claustrophobically warm and smelly because of other people’s odour.
Plants create an environment that is naturally more oxidised than one with no plants. They absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, so having plants in your office is an excellent way to improve air quality levels. Cleaner, fresher air in offices is beneficial to the health of employees. Having plants in offices helps to improve employee concentration levels, reduce stress, and combat its side-effects, such as migraines. Plants can even reduce energy usage. Recent studies show that plants in offices significantly reduce stress and improve productivity by up to 12 per cent. Similarly, levels of bacteria and air-borne mould are significantly less in offices with lots of plants.
Plants in the office look great, are good for everyone’s health, and improve productivity. It’s time to visit the garden centre and go green!
Author – Colin McDonald. I am a recent convert to all things green and gardening and whilst doing countless hours of research online on how to enhance my basic horticulture skills and discovered how plants can improve my office life too. I am no means an expert, but being an active blogger I wanted to share what I have learnt already, by sharing we can comment and learn from each other. Image source www.planteriagroup.com