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The benefits of plants in the office and how to use them

Annabel Thain Content marketing executive 🌱

Plants in the workplace have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason too! A few office plants can transform a boring workspace into a beautiful green paradise while bringing along some surprising benefits to yourself and your colleagues.

artificial weeping fig ficus tree on wooden coffee table

Why have plants in the office?  

If there’s one thing that can instantly transform the look and feel of a space, it’s plants.  

Whether it’s a well-placed palm tree or desktop plant to add interest to the inside, or some hanging baskets or outdoor plants to spruce up the entrance, a few green additions can turn even the dullest of workspaces into a botanical oasis.  

But, before we get into the ins and outs of how and where to use them, here are the benefits of using plants in the workplace and ultimately, making your space a happy place!

Health benefits of plants in the office

Having a few plants around the office doesn’t only look nice, studies show that they have positive psychological effects too.

How do plants relieve stress? 

Work-related stress accounts for the majority of sickness and absences in the UK and is estimated to cost the economy £29 billion a year.

So how do we fix this? Research has shown that something called ‘biophilia’ might just be the answer. Biophilia means “love of life” and is a term used by scientists to describe our innate instinct to connect with nature. When researching the impact of biophilic design within the workplace, scientists found it to reduce overall stress by 50% and sick leave by up to 60%. 

Simply said, by adding a few office plants to the workplace, we could make a big impact on the well-being of our workforce, reducing absenteeism, lowering stress, and even saving money. 

How do plants help productivity? 

Studies have shown that 77% of office workers reported that the quality of their workspace impacts on their sense of personal fulfilment.  These workers claimed to be on average 15% more productive when houseplants were included in their places of work.  

Are plants proven to improve mental health? 

Not only are plants in the office aesthetically pleasing, but studies show that the colour green has positive psychological effects too. In fact, the two most common colours in Mother Nature, green and blue are proven to improve efficiency and focus, with green also reducing anxiety and eye strain.

What’s more, it’s not only staff who are affected by a bit of greenery in the workplace. Studies show that having plants in your reception or foyer gives your company the perception of being more trustworthy, inviting, and well-run. Bonus.  

What are the other benefits of plants in the office? 

Ringing phones and everyday chatter can all become a distraction, especially in large open offices where there's space for sound to bounce around. By adding some large leafy plants such as cheese plants and fiddle leaf fig trees, to the open spaces, they can help by absorbing some of the extra noise.

Not only this but plants are also proven to boost creativity by up to 15% by introducing colour and a natural element into the workspace. This research found that when people see colour, green in particular, at just a glimpse prior to a creative task, their creative performance is enhanced in comparison to white, grey and other bright colours.

Meeting space with artificial fern dicksonia on wooden bench

How to use plants in your office

It’s easy to pick your favourite plants, hit the buy button and forget about them, but sometimes there needs to be a little more thought into where they’re going to go, which plants will benefit your staff and what to pair them with...

How can I decorate my office and keep it professional? 

Whilst there are many benefits to plants within the office, it’s important not to clutter the space as this can be to the detriment of an effective working environment. Be sure to keep the space light and airy, and not block windows or doors with large plants. Instead, consider giving interest to sharp corners with a stylish palm or hanging or draping plants from the ceiling or shelves. 

Unlike real plants, faux plants need little maintenance and create no mess. This means no browning or wilted leaves after a Bank Holiday weekend! This is also extremely beneficial if your office celebrates hybrid working.  

Plants in an open-plan office layout 

Open-plan offices can often feel exposed with 40% of office workers feeling that they lack privacy. To combat this, opt for screening plants like bamboo or hedging to create borders around desks and work areas and break up big open spaces with large office plants like tropical palm trees. Green living walls can also help create the illusion of distinct areas and zones within the office, whilst hanging plants draw your eyes upwards, creating the illusion of a more open space. 

Office desk plants 

Desk plants can help your team feel appreciated, motivated, and creative, but what desk plants should you choose? A recent study by a Canadian engineer, suggests that allowing your team to select their own plants encourages ownership and a heightened sense of accountability. Looking for some inspiration? Our artificial pinus bonsai tree and terracotta trio make for a great desk addition.

Faux ZZ plant on pink side table

Create a space with relaxing plants

Dedicating a corner of your workspace to make a calming area filled with colour and greenery, could help to keep stress levels low and boost creativity. More companies are including such wellbeing spaces in an effort to give staff a space to reflect, collect their thoughts and take a quick break.

Alternatively, a small reading nook could also help to inspire staff and incite creativity. Try filling a corner with calm-inducing plants like bamboo, lavender, aesthetic succulents and ferns, along with comfy seats and perhaps a bookshelf or two. 

Plants for your home office

Whether you work from home full-time or enjoy a hybrid work style, keeping a few plants around is just as important as it is in the office. With so many to choose from, you’re sure to find one to match your aesthetic, be that soothing neutrals and bold interiors. A fake orchid is the perfect complement to a home office space but there are many more options. If it’s inspiration you’re after, why not take a look at our home office makeover guide for remote workers?  

Plants outdoors: add curb appeal!

The entrance of your workplace is the first thing people see, so it's worth giving your ‘curb appeal’ a boost to make a good first impression.

It could be as simple as a hanging basket or two, a tropical palm tree or maybe even some hedging for a professional look. A few stylish bamboo trees and vibrant flower tubs can bring joy to an outdoor seating area, while a pair of elegant topiary trees and window boxes can work wonders at the front of your workplace for a bright, cheery and welcoming entrance for both you and any visitors. 

Our fantastic selection of outdoor plants and plants for front doors will offer you loads of options to choose from.  

Pots for indoor plants

 Choosing the right pot is almost as important as picking out the right plant! 

There are plenty of styles to choose from depending on your personal taste and office style. Bright pops of colour will help to bring your space to life and create an eye-catching feature, while materials like wood or seagrass baskets will offer a more natural, rustic feel.

To make things simple, you can choose from our range of pre-potted faux plants.

Artificial grass bush on bathroom window sill

How do you keep greenery fresh during the holidays? Fake vs. real plants

Finally, it's clear to see that plants can make a surprisingly big impact on your workspace, but there are some hurdles to overcome. 

Live plants bring the need to take a regular wander around with a watering can, prune foliage and make sure each plant has enough sunlight and humidity to survive. 

If you want the benefits that real plants bring while saving money and time spent on the plants that would inevitably wilt away, why not opt for faux with our huge range of maintenance-free artificial office plants

Realistic, stylish and completely hassle-free, they’re the ideal choice for all your office plant needs.

Faux fiddle leaf fig tree in dark blue interior

Sold on plants?

We've curated a list of plants perfect for office spaces. Choose from small desktop plants to big monsteras.

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