What’s your desk missing? A hot cup of coffee? How about a wireless phone charger? For us, it’s a plant. Pre-pandemic, we spent so little time in our home offices that we didn’t notice the lack of greenery. But, as the COVID years drag on and work-from-home is established as the new normal, we’ve decided to invest in a plant or two to liven things up.
And that’s exactly what these leafy lifesavers do. Bringing the outside in is an ideal way to up your productivity — with the natural benefits of houseplants ranging from air purification to soundproofing. So, if your desk is looking a little drab, then listen up — because we asked the foliage aficionados over at Patch Plants for the ferns and flowers guaranteed to perk, buck and cheer up your 9-to-5. Take a look…
The rich colour of a Chinese Money Plant has a relaxing and calming effect
Let’s start with something we’re all feeling; stress. Shut-in and locked-down, anxiety levels are at an all time high — and staring at a screen all day probably isn’t helping. Thankfully, a 2010 study by the University of Technology in Sydney found that working in close proximity of a plant can reduce tension, anger and depressed thoughts by up to 58%.
Deep, darker greens work best to cultivate happy thoughts and instil tranquility — so we’d recommend a Chinese Money Plant if you’re feeling a little on edge. Simple to grow and easy to propagate, these round-leafed plants offer large palettes of the calming colour to create a peaceful, pacified and productive work environment.
The eye-catching Fishtail Fern will improve memory retention
Finding it tricky to focus on your work? You’re not alone. Since we’ve been banished from our offices and cooped-up in our homes, many of us are struggling to be as productive as we were in a professional environment. Luckily for you, the Fishtail Fern can help.
A 2014 study by the University of Exeter discovered that, when added to a sparsely decorated workspace, a handful of distinctive houseplants could improve memory retention and basic cognitive skills. And desk plants don’t come more distinctive than this fern — plucked from the forests of South-East Asia and grown on a chunk of porous lava.
The Lipstick Plant will stop you getting ill (seriously)
Sick days lose their novelty when you’re working from home all the time. And, with that pesky pandemic still troubling the world, even an inkling of illness can be enough to derail you for a full day. WebMD may be a helpful resource, but hours spent trying to identify imagined symptoms will take its toll on your productivity.
This Lipstick Plant will solve that. How? Back in the 1990s, a small study by the Agricultural University of Norway found that introducing certain plants into the office led to a 25% decrease in the symptoms of ill health. So keep it close to your workspace — and ill-health won’t affect your days any longer.
The striking Flamingo Flower will make you excited to sit down at your desk
This one goes without saying. If your desk, dining table — or wherever you decide to perch and work at home — is well-decorated, you’ll be more likely to spend time there. And one of the best ways to create an attractive area? According to psychology professor Sir Cary Cooper’s 2015 ‘Human Spaces’ report, a bold plant.
Natural decoration doesn’t come more colourful than the aptly-named Flamingo Plant, with vivid red spathes and glossy green leaves. Found in the wild across the warmest parts of South America and the Caribbean, can you think of a better way to perk up your desk?
The Neon Devil’s Ivy will oxygenate and cleanse your home office air
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of maintaining a desk plant is that they clean the air — and the importance of keeping you home office oxygenated cannot be overstated. Scientific studies back this up: In the 1980s, NASA discovered that plants remove chemicals from the air — and the Sydney University of Technology found that they can reduce carbon dioxide levels by up to 25%.
The undemanding Neon Devil’s Ivy, then, gives considerably more than it takes. Bold of colour and easy on the eyes, it’ll keep your air clean for as it’s growing. And, given these zingy plants can shoot up to 200 metres tall in their native sup-tropical habitats, you can expect some very fresh air to fuel your working day.
The Devil’s Ivy will soundproof your office from distractions
Okay, we know — this is technically the same plant as above. But the Devil’s Ivy is a perfect option for any plant novices or work-from-homers simply because of how easy it is to care for. And, as an added bonus, this leafy addition to your desk will soundproof your entire office. Seriously.
In 1995, London South Bank University researchers discovered that if you place large plants in the corner — or along the edges —of a room, their organic matter will absorb sounds and insulate against sound pollution. And, given the Devil Ivy’s tendency to grow and grow and grow, you’ll probably have a fully soundproof home office by summer.