Should I Keep a Plant In My Office?

Over the course of your professional life, you are going to get a lot of advice. Warranted or not, you are going to get a lot of help from a lot of different people, and when you are in a fast moving industry, you often find yourself stashing those tidbits away in your mind for later without any further thought. How many of those stored pieces of advice have you then incorporated into your daily life? Are you sure all of them are true, helpful tips? With that, we can’t help you.

We can, however, give you the low-down on a common piece of advice if you ask yourself: Should I Keep a Plant In My Office?. Should you do it? Does it actually do anything for your productivity or happiness? Here is everything you need to know about office plants and how to take good care of them.

Yes, keeping a plant in the office can enhance the air quality by raising the humidity level and keeping the air cooler. Plants also reduce stress, enhance creativity and boost productivity.


Benefits of Keeping a Plant in Your Desk

If you’re nervously side-eyeing your succulents wondering if they’ve been bringing you down this whole time, don’t worry; the benefits of having a plant companion outweigh the bad by a mile.


Enhanced the climate in your office

First things first, keeping a plant in your office can actually save you money in the long run. Plants raise the humidity levels of the space they’re in when they breathe, and if you have enough of them around you can lower the temperature in your office by over 20°F.

Keeping a large plant, like a tree, will cool your office at a rate that rivals your energy-powered air conditioner. Keeping the AC off will save you money in energy costs, and if that isn’t a benefit, I don’t know what is.

Reduce stress

Office plants are also great to have around because they are known to reduce stress levels in their neighbors. A study conducted in 2010 found that offices that had plant occupants saw a 37% reduction in anxiety and a 44% reduction in office hostility.

The hostility factor might not apply to you if you are a solo entrepreneur or a remote worker, but lowering anxiety is definitely a plus.

Boost creativity

While we’re on the topic of mental benefits, some plants can also boost your creativity. Stimulating your senses can open up the idea flow, so introducing a new scent or bright colors can do wonders for your creative muscle as well as your productivity.

According to a study done by research psychologists at Exeter University, people perform much better after plants are added to their work space. This is because having surroundings you can interact with helps you stay focused, which in turn can allow you to get more work done.

In addition, attention restoration theory suggests that simply looking at nature, pictures of nature included, can move the brain into a new processing mode, making you feel more relaxed and helping you to concentrate.

Improve your health

If that wasn’t enough, office plants can improve the health of you and your employees, which will result in a reduced number of sick days needed. Plants naturally pull toxins from the areas they grow in and keep the air around them fresh and clean.

This makes plants especially great for people who work in offices with poor ventilation or offices that get stuffy after a few hours of work during the summertime. Plants have been proven to filter air and remove chemicals such as benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde in addition to their standard carbon dioxide converting abilities. “Sick building syndrome” may sound like a made up condition, but it is a real threat to you and your team.

Poor ventilation can lead to headaches, nausea, and difficulty concentrating, so adding a plant to the decor is well worth the investment.

Which Plant is Best for My Office?

Now that we’ve determined that you definitely need a new plant for your office, the question turns to what kind of plant you should get. Will any old thing with leaves give you all of these great benefits? Do you need to have something with leaves?

Luckily, you have lots of options to choose from, which means you are sure to find something that perfectly fits the vibe of your office. Here are just a few fine plants you might want to move into your workspace.


Bonsai Trees: These gorgeous little things can be tricky to keep alive, but it can be worth it to have such a beautiful tree as part of your workspace. The name itself is a japanese word that means ‘placed in a container,’ and isn’t that just what you need for your already crowded desk? Around 700 AD, the Chinese started practicing the art of ‘pun-sai,’ which is a special technique for growing dwarf trees in small containers.

These days, you can start them from seed kits that make beginning your bonsai journey easy, and, if given the right care and attention, they can last a very long time. Bonsai trees don’t even reach maturity until they’re ten years old, so prepare for this plant to turn into a life-long friend.

Snake Plants: If your office or workspace doesn’t get very much sunlight during the day, this is the one for you. Snake plants grow naturally in dense forests where little light can reach the ground, making it a perfect companion if you work best under low light. In addition to needing very little light, these plants are extremely low maintenance. You only have to water them once a month!

Rubber Plants: Another low maintenance coworker, rubber tree plants thrive near bright windows and can grow pretty tall. You can find rubber tree plants in many different varieties, which means you can kind of pick and choose what colors you want to bring to your office. Your standard version shows off bold greens and purples that will freshen up a blank, dull, space with ease.

ZZ Plant: If you are guilty of having killed a plant or two in your past (don’t worry, we are too) a ZZ plant might be the perfect plant for you. Their giant roots can store a large amount of water, which means you don’t have to worry if you forget to water it every now and then.

This is another great plant for dark or dim offices, as ZZ plants are able to tolerate long periods of low light. All you really need to keep this little guy happy is a little fertilizer every once in a while. This is a great first plant if you are new to the whole indoor gardening game.

Air Plants: Another good choice for reformed plant killers, air plants are a unique type of office plant that you don’t have to water very often. They also don’t need any soil to grow and thrive, so you can place them around your workspace however you please to brighten up the area a bit.

This kind of plant looks gorgeous in glass containers, and if you don’t have a lot of space in and around your desk, you can easily hang containers from the ceiling for a fun and unique look. To take care of these office companions you just need to spritz them with water a few times a month, making them extremely low maintenance and resilient at the same time. This plant is pretty good at telling you when it’s thirsty, as its leaves curl up more than usual when it needs a drink.

Succulents: When you first think of office plants, these are probably what you imagine. They make for great desk mates because of how their thick leaves can store water for long periods of time, giving you more time between waterings. These plants require a good amount of sunlight, however, so you might want to skip over this one if you don’t have a lot of light in your office.

Not all succulents can be cared for in the same way, though, so if you end up buying a succulent for your desk, spend a little time doing some research on the specific type you have. When you water your succulents, it is better to so thoroughly instead of simply misting them like you might with your air plants. Instead of pouring the water on top of the plant, aim for the soil around the base where the roots can get their fill. You’ll know that your plant is in the mood for another drink when the top inch of the dirt has dried out.

Now that you know all of the great benefits of having a plant in your office, as well as a few great options to choose from, finding your plant friend is the logical next step. Check out your local grocery store or garden center to see what is available in your area, then let your plant loving heart run wild. Whether you decide to keep only one in your workspace or have dreams of a garden in your office, you now have all of the tools you need to take good care of all your new coworkers. In return, they’ll take care of you!