The new meaning of a ‘Green’ office

The Science

The clean desks and white walls of the ‘minimalist’ office are starting to gradually disappear, as studies into the benefit of office plants in the workplace are picking up traction.


Recently two studies, from Australia’s UST in 2010 and University of Exeter in 2014 have both gained national media attention, as surprising conclusion of both studies was that adding as little as one plant to an office environment, can increase productivity as well as reducing tension, anxiety and negativity.

Over the course of a 3 month experiment in Australia, a group of offices saw the addition of either small, desk plants or larger floor plants, placed around the office so that every employee could see some greenery and the results were startling.

Offices with plants, in comparison to a ‘test’ office with no plants, saw a reduction in tension and anxiety of up to 37%, a reduction in fatigue amongst employees of up to 38% and a reduction of general negativity of up to 64%.

A similar study at Exeter University concluded that adding plants to work spaces encouraged productivity by up to 15%.



The addition of plants around the office is not just to brighten up staff. Office plants are natural filters and can clean the air around them, with additional studies showing absenteeism in offices with plants down by 50% and complaints of minor illnesses down by 30%.

There are literally thousands of plants that can be potted and brought into offices, but here are a few of our recommendations:

The Flowers

1) Aloe



Petite, but perfectly formed the Aloe plant has more benefits than healing burns and cuts. An Aloe plant would fit comfortably onto most desks, and have great air filtering properties.

2) Fittonia


A larger, floor plant, Fittonia’s are a great low-light plant. They actually grow best under fluorescent lights found in most office buildings.

3) Weeping Figs


Another large floor plant, these wonderful plants filter the air of formaldehyde and benzene, pollutants found in furniture, carpets and some printers.

4) Spider Plants

These smaller plants are easy enough to grow indoors, and their long dangling leaves are interesting in their own way.

5) Aechmea

Most popular of the bromeliads, with broad, grey-green leaves and a pink central flower that appears spasmodically. Keep fairly dry in winter.

This is a plant with broad, often variegated leaves that likes to be in the shade. It is important to keep it fairly moist by spraying the leaves.


6) Aglaonema


This is a plant with broad, often variegated leaves that likes to be in the shade. It is important to keep it fairly moist by spraying the leaves.

7) Jade Plant


Our final recommendation is another smaller plant that requires little maintenance. Originating from China, the Jade Plant is often referred to as the ‘money plant’, and would arguably be beneficial to every business!

A few things to remember

Obviously, an office full of dead plants is about as useful as having no plants, so whatever plants you choose to brighten up your office space, make sure that they are well looked after. Whilst most of our recommended office plants need no frequent maintenance, they still need to be watered and occasionally cut back. Make sure that any office plants that require sunshine are placed in a sunny spot, and plants requiring a cooler environment are potted near the air conditioning, and then sit back and enjoy the advantages of a green office.

We’d love to see your office plant pictures, so send your snaps by using #grabagardener on Twitter & Instagram or tweet us with us @grabagardener

Happy Office Plant Gardening!