Work Happy and Stay Healthy: 4 Reasons Your Desk Needs a Plant

updated Jul 15, 2020
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(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

You don’t have to have a green thumb to know that plants can make a world of difference in your decor, but they can do a lot more than just brighten up a dull, lifeless space. Even just a little extra green can have a huge impact on your attitude and your health, especially in your workspace. If you don’t already have a photosynthesizing friend on your desk, here’s why you need one. (And don’t worry if you don’t have the best track record with keeping plants alive—just try one of these plants.)

Plants = Productivity

Some companies think that sleeker, more minimalist offices are the way to go, but banning decorations can actually have a negative impact on workers, especially when that decor-free approach means no plants in sight. In fact, a study from Exeter University actually found that employees performed better and were more productive when even just a few household plants were added into an otherwise lean workplace—so having one on your desk can’t hurt.

It’ll Freshen Air Around You

Studies show that certain plants are especially good at purifying air and creating more oxygen, so depending on the plant you get, your new greenery could improve the air quality of your workspace. A NASA study found that several plants—including spider plants, English ivy and Gerbera daisies—can filter out common toxins like trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and benzene.

You’ll Feel Healthier and Happier

Having plants around you can also make you happier and less stressed. According to Psychology Today, plants can lower your blood pressure, lower anxiety levels, reduce stress, improve your well-being and raise your job satisfaction. A plant isn’t a cure-all for your bad days, of course, but it might just perk you up a little.

It’ll Boost Your Creativity

Adding some new plant life to your desk can also help you be more creative. One study found that, when given a creative task to complete, participants performed better and saw a difference in mood when an indoor plant was in their line of vision, as opposed to other decor items (a magazine rack) or an empty workspace.

Do you keep a plant on your desk? What kind?