Complete Guide to Office Plants and Incorporating Nature Into Your Office Design

Complete Guide to Office Plants and Incorporating Nature Into Your Office Design

Whether you’re designing a new office space or are looking for ways to revamp your existing space, office plants are a great way to add unique design elements. Plus, plants are extremely beneficial in the workplace.

Keep reading to find out how to pick the best plant for your office and which plants to avoid.

Benefits of Office Plants

There are many reasons to love indoor plants, making them popular in homes, offices and other businesses. Indoor plants are certainly beautiful to look at, and they offer numerous benefits. Office plants can be an extremely beneficial addition to any office space.

Benefits of Office Plants

Improve Air Quality

According to research into how plants can purify indoor environments, there are many types of indoor plants that help improve air quality. One study analyzed various plants to evaluate their ability to remove pollutants from indoor air. The study found that there are several plants that can absorb harmful toxins like benzene and formaldehyde. These plants include:

  • Aloe vera
  • Peace lilies
  • Orchids
  • Rubber plants
  • English ivy
  • Areca palm

The snake plant, for example, can remove nitrogen oxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene. When studying these plants, researchers found that the concentration of oxygen in the room increased and carbon dioxide decreased over a set period of time. Adding these plants to your workspace can help provide cleaner air for your office, helping to reduce their potential for getting sick.

Increase Positivity

Office plants can also improve your employees’ moods. Knowing how to incorporate nature into office designs can help people in your office feel more connected to nature, which is soothing and relaxing. Spending time outdoors helps reduce depression and anxiety, so bringing plants inside can have positive effects.

Plants can also improve how you feel because they regulate things like humidity in the air. Something as simple as this can help increase positivity and improve moods, leading to a more positive and enjoyable work environment. 

Improve Productivity

Research has shown that office plants can significantly increase employees’ satisfaction with their workspace, improve concentration levels and increase engagement with their work. When employees are satisfied in their office, they’re more likely to be able to concentrate and be productive. If you’re looking for ways to encourage your employees to be more productive or are looking for ways to increase efficiency, plants may be the answer.

Adds Decoration

If nothing else, plants serve as a way to accessorize interior spaces. There are many ways to incorporate plants in visually aesthetic ways. Plants can even look like art depending on how they’re arranged. They can serve as a focal point or simply give people something to look at. Filling your office or workspace with plants can make the area more stylish and enjoyable to be in.

4 Best Indoor Plants for Offices

Given the benefits of indoor plants in office spaces, it only makes sense that you’d want to incorporate some into your office space. With so many different types of indoor plants, how do you know what plant is best for an office? Some indoor plants are higher maintenance than others, so the best office plants are easy to care for and survive in many environments.

4 Best Indoor Plants for Offices

1. Snake Plant

Scientifically known as Sansevieria, snake plants are one of the best options for office plants. They’re extremely low maintenance and their green and yellow sword-like leaves will add a unique natural element to any office design while filtering toxins out of the air.

Office environments are often difficult for plants to grow in, though snake plants are nearly indestructible and actually thrive on neglect. For the most part, snake plants grow best when you ignore them. They can go long periods without being watered, and infrequent watering actually helps prevent root rot. Snake plants are extremely versatile, so they can grow in almost any type of soil.

Snake plants can tolerate a range of temperatures and humidity levels, so they’ll do well in any office atmosphere. This type of plant thrives in nearly any lighting situation, so whether it’s placed in front of a window or tucked into a dark corner, your snake plant will work with what it gets. Just be sure not to place it in direct sunlight, as the direct sun will dry out the leaves and kill the plant.

Overall, snake plants are a great choice for most office spaces because they’re low maintenance and easy to please.

2. ZZ Plant

Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or ZZ plant for short, is another extremely low-maintenance plant that thrives on being forgotten. Though they grow slow, ZZ plants can grow up to two feet tall and have beautiful wide, dark green leaves. Originating in Africa, these plants are drought tolerant and can handle a few missed waterings.

Like snake plants, ZZ plants tolerate various types of light, soil and temperatures. ZZ plants are well-known as low-light plants, which makes them an ideal choice for offices with limited natural light. Brighten up a dark room with a ZZ plant and simultaneously benefit from its air filtering abilities. 

ZZ plants are attractive plants that will certainly add to any space. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that ZZ plants are toxic to pets and people if ingested. While this shouldn’t be a concern if your office is for adults only, it may not be a great plant for workspaces with kids or pets.

3. Pothos

If your office has little to no natural light and you want to incorporate office plants, no light is no problem for pothos. Pothos are notorious for growing well under fluorescent lighting because they actually don’t require sunlight to grow. Sunlight will help them grow bigger and fuller leaves, but they grow just fine in low light. 

Pothos are pretty low maintenance in many other ways as well. They are amenable to most soil types and do well with intermittent watering. Pothos also appreciate humidity, though dry air is no problem. 

Pothos are trailing plants, which means their glossy, variegated foliage will drape down over the pot it’s planted in. These plants can grow at impressive rates and would look great in a hanging pot or placed somewhere high so the leaves can trail down. Additionally, pothos plants are extremely easy to propagate, so you can grow new plants from one pothos. 

4. Succulents

If you’re looking for the best plants for office window sills, look to succulents. While most indoor plants will dry out when placed in direct sunlight, succulents prefer bright, warm environments. Bright windowsills in south-facing rooms get a lot of direct sunlight, making them ideal for succulents. If your office has lots of windows in general, place some succulents where they’ll be able to soak up the natural light.

Succulents are generally a great office plant because they’re low-maintenance, only requiring infrequent, small amounts of water. You’ll also find that there are numerous different types of succulents, allowing you to add variety to your plant displays.

4 Office Plants to Avoid

The best plants for office spaces are typically low maintenance. As such, the worst office plants tend to be high maintenance, which makes caring for them and keeping them alive more difficult in an office setting. Unless you have the time and effort necessary to put into plant care, try to avoid these four plants.

1. Ferns

Ferns are well-known and easily recognizable plants in both indoor and outdoor spaces. While their beauty makes them a desirable plant for indoor spaces, they’re pretty high maintenance and difficult to keep happy. Ferns can be quite dramatic and will be quick to let you know when they’re unhappy. Humidity is a must for these plants — without adequate humidity, their leaves will quickly dry out and crumble away. Once a fern begins drying out, it’s difficult to revive it. 

Since ferns have a high need for humidity and are difficult to please, they’re typically not ideal for an office.

2. Fiddle Leaf Tree

Fiddle leaf trees can grow to become beautiful, large indoor plants if they’re properly taken care of. Unfortunately, they’re among the hardest indoor plants to keep happy. They’re extremely high maintenance, requiring the perfect soil, moisture levels, sunshine and humidity. Fiddle leaf trees require a very humid environment, so unless your office is humid, you’d likely have to get this plant its own humidifier. 

Because this plant has specific needs and can be hard to please, try to avoid it in office settings.

Fiddle Leaf Tree

3. Orchids

Orchids are beautiful flowering plants that can make a statement in any space. However, there are some downsides to these plants that make them less than ideal for an office. Orchids are quite high-maintenance, making them very difficult to keep alive. You truly need a green thumb and a knack for these plants to keep them in bloom and thriving. 

They’re very picky about indirect sunlight and have an unreliable watering schedule, which makes it easy to overwater or accidentally forget to water them. While other plants can tolerate drought, orchids won’t. Additionally, orchids can be on the more expensive side, making them a gamble if you fail to keep them alive.

4. Flowers

Though many types of flowers are relatively easy to grow outdoors, they’re not ideal for an office space. Flowers can be a nice surprise in the office, but having them inside frequently can be bad for coworkers who have allergies. Flowers like daisies and sunflowers are most often found in outdoor gardens, and when they’re brought inside, they bring high quantities of pollen with them. 

Pollen is one of the most common causes of seasonal allergies and many of your coworkers may struggle with their allergies enough outside of the office. To be courteous, it’s best to grow flowers outside rather than in your office.

How to Choose the Best Plant for Your Office

Knowing how to choose office plants is essential to pick ones that will thrive. There are many factors that affect how well plants grow or fit into your office. Here are three considerations that will help you determine the best plant for your office:

  • Lighting in your office: A big aspect of your office that should be considered is the lighting. Do you receive high amounts of natural light, none at all or somewhere in between? The amount of natural light will narrow your plant search because some plants have specific sunlight needs. The best plant for your office will have light needs that reflect what your office can offer.
  • Maintenance requirements: As we mentioned earlier, different plants have different maintenance requirements. Consider how much time you’re able or willing to put into maintaining your plants on top of completing your work. You may need to assign team members to care for certain plants to avoid neglect or overwatering.
  • Kids and pets: Another often overlooked consideration in choosing plants is the people and animals that will be around them on a regular basis. Some plants are toxic if they’re ingested by people or pets. With this in mind, you should choose pet- and child-friendly plants if your work involves these groups.

How to Incorporate Office Plants Into Office Design

With an idea of what plants to incorporate in your office, you may still be wondering how you should arrange your office plants. The answer to that question will depend on what plants you choose and what type of office space you have. However, here are some ideas to help get you started.

Add Tall Plants to Empty Corners

Corners can be challenging to decorate in offices, especially if space is limited. Luckily, plants can be a great way to add some decor to those empty corners. Tall plants like palms or dracaenas can be potted in a large pot that sits directly on the ground rather than on a table, desk or cubicle. These types of plants add height and variety to your workspace with minimal effort.

Build Living Walls

If you’re looking for a more extravagant way to incorporate plants and nature in your office, consider adding a living wall. Living walls take a variety of plants ranging from moss to ivy and plant them in a wall, allowing them to grow on a vertical surface rather than horizontal. Living walls are truly a sight to see and would be an impressive addition to any space.

Use a Variety of Plants

Knowing how many plants you should have in your office might be tough. Many would say the more the merrier, but you don’t want plants to detract from your employee’s productivity. As long as they’re not in the way of operations, it’s beneficial to have several plants, and having a variety of different plants creates more visual appeal.

Enhance Your Office Design With Arnold’s Office Furniture

At Arnold’s Office Furniture, we understand that the design and layout of your office can have a significant impact on everything from the functionality of your furniture to your employees’ productivity. Designing the perfect office space can be a challenge. Luckily, when you purchase office furniture from us, we offer free design services to help you achieve your dream workspace.

For more information about our office cubicles and design service, contact us today!

Enhance Your Office Design With Arnold's Office Furniture