Plant some wellbeing in the office

Something for the weekend: If a lunchtime yoga session doesn’t do it for your stress levels, why not try nurturing your own office plant?

Research has shown that active interaction with indoor plants can reduce employees’ physiological and psychological stress, a fact possibly reflected in the 2,600% increase in Google Searches for “easy to care for plants” since the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic began.

And as staff return to workplaces, the use of biophilic design in office spaces could prove to pay for itself. Studies have found that that added greenery can increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and boost occupants’ feelings of wellbeing by 40%, according to the Journal of Experimental Psychology – which might explain why Amazon has gone beyond the potted fern and scattered stunning glass-domed green houses around its company headquarters.

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But what plants should you chose to encourage engagement and enhance your workspace? Research by Office Furniture Online has come up with some easy to care for plants that will happily thrive in the workspace and improve your working day without triggering allergic reactions from either colleagues or the office dog.

Top of the list is English Ivy, which merely asks for a bit of shade, organically rich soil and a twice a week watering, followed by Dracaena, another easy to grow indoor plant which is happy in indoor light and needs less water than most plants. And who can resist cacti, which thrive in both sun and artificial light, and only require watering every one or two weeks, when the soil is very dry. Meanwhile, those with offices in polluted urban areas might find Peace Lily a good choice, since it is known to have air cleansing properties.

Mark Taylor, managing director of Office Furniture Online, said: “Office plants are great for decorating your space and making employees feel more relaxed and at ease. They also help with productivity, so are a worthwhile investment.

“Be sure to choose the right kind of plants for your office space, as well. Do you have lots of natural light, or do you need to consider plants that work well in fluorescent light? Do you have enough space for plants that grow quickly? Do you have an office dog that the plants may be toxic to? These are all things to consider when choosing your perfect office plant.”

Here at Employee Benefits we find that a little office greenery is a great way to plant a smile on our colleagues faces. We are very frond of our little potted friends and find it unbeleafable how caring for them gives us all that quality thyme to relax and boost our energy levels.