If you have a secretary, chances are that he or she isn’t green, leafy, or sits in a pot; but this is the exact type of secretary that every worker should have nearby – that’s right, I’m talking about a plant as a secretary, yet instead of making calls and bringing you coffee, it does a lot of other things that contribute to your health and productivity, which is precisely why having one close by to your workstation is always a good self-managerial choice. Read further to discover the main reasons why plants are such great work companions and learn the science behind how they can make you the happiest when working.
- Cleaner Air
Plants not only absorb Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere, but according to NASA, they also reduce the amount of dust, bacteria, mold and other chemicals from the air, thus letting our lungs breathe cleaner, safer air.
According to Ambius, indoor plants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours. They also stated that plants can reduce humidity levels to the recommended human comfort range of 30-60%. This in turn reduces our dependency on overusing the air conditioner to create drier air.
- Better Attendance
When plants have been properly placed, they have been shown to reduce the probability of people getting sick – thus leading to less absenteeism at work.
According to Nortec.org, introducing plants to an office environment has been reported to reduce minor illness by 30%. They do this by not only removing harmful elements from the air, but by creating a more
inviting, positive environment that proves to be more welcoming.
That green secretary holds your attendance accountable in a more indirect, healthier way, as opposed to your perhaps a humanoid secretary who is taking away more of your breathing air, instead of providing more to you. Too Harsh? Just stating facts here.
- Increased Productivity/Creativity
Perhaps most interesting is the effect plants can have on our creativity. According to Nortec.org, one study found that plants increased creativity by 15%.
The theory is that plants affect our ancestral instincts and subconscious, telling us that there is food nearby (berries, fruit, etc.) which causes us to become more relaxed, allowing us to use more of our time thinking creatively.
Perhaps most surprising is how plants create a more focused working environment by blocking out noise. Nortec.org states that plants can reduce ambient noise within an office by as much as 5 decibels. Less background noises could mean less distractions, meaning enhanced concentration and productivity. Speaking of productivity, a graphic published by Ambius claimed that 15% more ideas were generated by people who worked in an office with plants. They also noted that a computer task was completed on average 12% faster when plants were present.
- Healthier Lifestyle
One major mental effect that plants have on the mind is the ability to significantly reduce stress. A study done by Nursery and Garden Industry Australia found that there were large reductions in stress where plants were a part of the environment. Specifically, they found a 37% reduction in Tension/Anxiety, a 58% reduction in Depression, a 44% reduction in Anger and a 38% reduction in Fatigue. These effects plants have on us aren’t solely psychological and are in fact also physiological as a study shown by Ambius shows that there was clear evidence that plants lower our blood pressure during and post- tasks at work. It’s also been shared by Norteg.org that you’ll not only feel healthier but look healthier since plants can reduce dry skin by 20%, thus helping you look your best while producing your best work. Now that we know why plants make great secretaries, and how they do it, let’s move onto the next question: What plants should I hire? Well there’s many to choose from and if you’re new to the whole green secretary movement, we’re happy to share some great plant types to start out with for any office or workstation.
For low to medium light offices, Bloomscape.com suggest some of these options below. They are all easy to maintain and can still do well in areas that don’t offer the best light.
- Philodendron Brasil
- Bird’s Nest Fern
- Parlor Palm
- For offices that have lots of windows and are very sunny, Bloomscape.com suggests these favorites:
- Hedgehog Aloe
- Croton Petra
- Ponytail Palm
- Dracaena Marginata
Whatever plant you choose to work with be sure to pay them well with plenty (but not too much) of water, sunlight and love! When they show that they are growing well within your company, give them a raise and hire some more green secretaries to make your workspace the kind that you’ll look forward to working in each and every day.