The Benefits of Having a Plant on your Desk
What’s on your desk right now? If I had to guess, I’d bet there’s a computer, a notebook, a pen -- perhaps a lone wrapper from yesterday’s mid-afternoon snack or maybe even a framed picture of your pet. And, if it’s anything like mine, a thin layer of dust coating everything.
Was I right? Doesn’t matter, because if the first thing that came to mind when you pictured your desk wasn’t a vibrant, leafy cubicle companion, you’re missing out on some serious benefits. From cleaner air to sharper focus, to better quality-of-life, research shows that the effects of becoming a plant parent at work can not only improve your wellbeing during the hours of 9 to 5 (or 6, or 7…) but extend into every aspect of your life.
So, if you’re looking for a better deskmate, look no further. Here are some of the science-backed benefits of having a desk plant.
You’ll lose your case of the Mondays...and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays too.
Plants can’t extend your deadline or give you a longer lunch break, but according to a 2010 study from the University of Technology Sydney, adding plants to your office can help make your time spent there a more positive experience. Though their sample size was small, their findings included a 37% fall in reported tension and anxiety; a 58% drop in depression or dejection; a 44% decrease in anger and hostility and a 38% reduction in fatigue, leading the researches to conclude that “just one plant per workspace can provide a very large lift to staff spirits, and so promote wellbeing and performance.” Of course, you don’t want to replace the stress of your workday with the stress of trying to keep a plant alive, so be sure to look for a Hard-to-Kill plant that will thrive in your specific space.
You’ll move from procrastination to purpose.
We’ve all fallen victim to the recap rabbit hole (or the social media sinkhole) but adding a potted pal to your workspace can help you step away from the mindless distractions and find more meaning in your workday. In 2015, a study from The Human Spaces studied 7,600 office workers and found that while nearly two-thirds of workers have no live plants in their workplaces, those who did report natural elements in their work environments had a 15% higher wellbeing score and a 6% high productivity score than those whose offices did not.
And they are not alone. According to the American Society for Horticulture Science“individuals who worked in offices with plants and windows reported that they felt better about their job and the work they performed” and that “offices that had plants or windows reported higher overall quality-of-life scores.”
You’ll breathe easier.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that more plants equal better vibes. But if you did want to know their thoughts on the matter, you’re in luck. NASA discovered that plants were adept at removing chemicals and known human carcinagens such as benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde from the air, making the air cleaner to breathe and cutting down on the negative health effects these compounds can cause. Based on this information, NASA studied and created a list of the top indoor plants that filter Volatile Organic Compounds (aka VOCs) from the air. By the way, all of our plants here at Desk Plants are on that list -- feel free to spread the word next time you’re at the office watercooler.
It’s worth noting that while any plant can add value to your workday, some bring more to the table than others. According to another study from University of Technology, Sydney on Air Quality, indoor plants can help reduce carbon dioxide levels by about 10% in air-conditioned buildings and about 25% in buildings without air conditioning. But before you reach for that pocket-sized succulent, they also found that while all indoor plants improve air quality, medium-sized plants - or plants above 20cm - stand out when it comes to reducing volatile chemicals found in the air.
Better vibes, better work, better air -- if adding a plant to your workspace is starting to seem like a no brainer, that’s because it is. And before you spend your entire lunch break scouring the internet for the perfect plant, let us help you out. Like we mentioned, every one of our plants here at Desk Plants is hand grown, Hard-to-Kill, medium-sized and on NASA’s list of top air cleansing plants. On top of that, each of our plants comes with instructions on how best to care for it, so you’ll be able to find the right plant in no time. Which means there’s plenty of time to Swiffer off that layer of dust and throw away the wrapper rolling across your desk like a tumbleweed.
Or, go down the social media sinkhole one last time before all that plant-based productivity starts...we won’t tell, I promise.