Looking for a way to spice up your WFH workspace all while improving your productivity and mental health? A simple houseplant on your desk can do all of that and more! A number of studies in the past have shown that as humans, we are instinctively attracted to natural environments and benefit from their stimuli. Back when we were all working from an office (remember those good ol' days?), you may recall that your client or employer had plants spread throughout. This was no mistake. Science has proven over and over that plants in the office bring a variety of benefits to both employees and employers. Here are just a few of the ways a plant on your desk can change your work-from-home life:
Reduce Stress: Many believe that green can have a soothing effect on us, but before you go and paint your office walls green, try picking-up a small succulent for your desk. A recent study published in HortTechnology experimented on workers at an electric company in Japan and learned that plants can have a way of decreasing our anxiety and our resting heart rate.
Increase Productivity: Plants can also help you get more done! While they won't respond to your emails or generate reports for you, the 2015 Human Spaces report into The Global Impact of Biophilic Design explained that adding more connections to nature in your office can actually boost your productivity by 6%.
Reduce Illness: Better yet, that same Human Spaces report said that employees who work in environments with natural elements report 15% higher level of well-being. Combine this with the previously-mentioned study talking about reduced stress, plus a number of other studies dating back to the 80s and 90s, and there is plenty of reason to buy into this reasoning. On top of psychological value, many scientists say that a plant in your office will naturally filter the air to improve air quality.
Increase Creativity: Finally, plants can help your mind think outside of the box and create better solutions for your clients. Again, this is backed up by that same Human Spaces report which says plants can improve creativity by 15%. Theories for this are all over the place. Some say the colours and scents help expand your mind, others claim the zen feeling plants give off can help your mind flow into new areas, and some believe it has to do with a connection to our ancestors.
Now, take a look around your home office, are you leveraging this well-researched fact that a houseplant is a smart addition to your desk? If your next concern is finding the right plant (and one you can't kill) then check out this post from Joy Us Garden. They highlight their top picks as well as tips on how to take care of them and their light requirements. Some common plants included in this post, as well as recommended by a number of other plant experts, include Snake Plants, ZZ Plants, and a variety of Succulents (including Aloe and many cacti).
Many IT professionals are expecting to be working from a home office for the foreseeable future, so make the best of it and set your office up for success. Getting the right natural green elements into there is a great step forward!