You may be staggered to know that even before we went into lockdown, studies showed that we were spending around 90% of our time indoors. With many of us now working from home, doing longer hours and thanks to our rather gloomy British weather, this figure is likely on the up.
Mental health charity, Mind, found that more than half of adults (60%) said their mental health had worsened during lockdown, so what can we do to stay positive and productive?
Studies prove that being amongst nature can have mental and physical health benefits, therefore along with your permitted daily outdoor exercise, there are other things you can do to give yourself a little boost at work.
We’re going to focus on the fantastic benefits of plants and how adding one or two to your workspace, whether that’s at home or in the office, can provide you with a much needed pick me up.
The power of plants should not be underestimated. Having plants in your workspace can boost creativity, productivity and improve mental health – things we all need more of right now. They also help to clean indoor air by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and producing oxygen to support your physical health.
A scientific study from the University of Hyogo in Japan found that having just a small plant on our desks could boost our mental health by reducing stress levels. Some businesses are now giving their teams a plant allowance to facilitate people to choose and buy their own desk plants to support wellbeing at work. We love this idea at FreshGround, and we have loads of different plants dotted around the office. We’ve put together our top five desk plants for you to consider incorporating into your workspace wherever that may be.
Our top five desk plants
These prickly plants are perfect for novices as they are famously hard to kill! Totally low maintenance desk buddies, they only need watering about once a week during spring and summer and every 3 – 4 weeks in autumn and winter. Some cacti will also flower in the spring that’ll add a very welcome pop of colour to your deskspace.
These impressive looking plants with stunning white flowers are actually really easy to take care of. Simply keep the soil moist, but avoid overwatering, and mist the leaves regularly. They’re prized for their ability to purify the air so keep them out of direct sunlight to help them thrive. Typically they’ll last between 3 – 5 years.
An office favourite, the spider plant is a great addition to any workspace. These are perfect for high shelves and hanging baskets and they thrive in partial sun or shade, making them an ideal choice if your workspace isn’t basking in natural sunlight. Simply water every few days to keep them (and you!) happy.
Known for their beautiful and interesting shapes, succulents can add an arty feel to your desk. They can last for years and need very minimal care and attention. In fact, you should only water them once the soil is fully dried out. Over-water succulents at your peril as this will cause them to die, and when the roots start growing, be sure to re-pot your succulent to give it room to grow.
Need a touch of feng shui in your office? Another natural air purifier, the bamboo is an impressive and welcome addition to your desk. It needs very little light so it’s perfect for cubicles or smaller, dimly lit workspaces. It’s thought to be a lucky plant in some cultures, and we could all do with a little luck and good fortune.
There are hundreds of plants that will bring a touch of nature to your workspace so our advice is to go with whatever you fancy. And yes we know, a plant isn’t going to solve all our problems, but if it helps to brighten our day just a tiny bit, we’ll give it a go!
Plants are not the only way to brighten up your office of course, and you can check out our blog on how colours can supercharge your workspace.