Working from home? We're sharing five proven reasons (and one not so proven reason) plants will help keep you sane during quarantine, and will make your home office experience so much better.
I’ve been working from home for about a month now. My “home office” was thrown together in a frenzy on the first day that I was told by my employer that we’d all be working from home indefinitely. I hauled out an unused desk from storage, wrangled a bunch of extension cords together, shuffled around my computer and that was pretty much it. I haven’t made any improvements to my set up since that day.
If you’re like me, it doesn’t really feel like there’s a whole lot I can do to make my home office space feel more welcoming. It’s not like this workstation – a giant desk and a rat’s nest of extension cords in the middle of my living room – is something I intend to keep once I’m told it’s safe to go return to the real office. I just don’t want to invest in nice furniture or cute décor for a temporary home workstation. But at this point my thrown together office is kind of draining my life force. That and, you know, the global pandemic situation but lets not linger too much on that. There’s obviously a ton of helpful recommendations and tips out there for improving your general living space while we’re all stuck inside, but the thing that’s really made a big difference for me has been having plants in my space. Here are some of the main reasons why I feel like having plants in my space has improved my quality of life as I’m confined to my one-bedroom condo.
A thing that you hear a lot is how having plants inside improves the air quality in your home because your little leafy friends are removing toxins from the air. For some reason, I didn’t fully believe this until I started accumulating my own houseplants. Not only is this just scientifically undeniable but I notice the difference. I moved into a new condo recently and a lot of my old plants didn’t survive the mid-January move (I cried real tears). It took me some time to get settled before I could replace them and I can honestly feel the difference in how fresh the air in my condo is now that I’ve started growing my collection again.
Now more than ever it can be hard to find proactive ways to take care of our mental health. Normally if I’m feeling down or stressed, I’ll take a walk in the park or try to spend time with friends. Those options aren’t really on the table anymore. Bringing some greenery indoors is a solid alternative to being outdoors nowadays when a walk in the park means trying to navigate social distancing regulations too. It might sound a bit weird, but personally I also find it nice to have plants around just to have direct daily contact with other living things. I’m not saying that tending to plants is a replacement for human interaction but in the absence of daily chats with friends and coworkers, nurturing my plants in lieu of human relationships does actually calm my anxiety.
Multiple studies have been conducted to investigate the relationship between plants and productivity. Findings on the subject have shown that exposure to greenery in the workplace can contribute to employees taking fewer sick days, improved moods and even contributing to overall productivity. With most of us stuck working at home for the foreseeable future, there’s no better time to get on the houseplant bandwagon. Like I said earlier, I’m not willing to buy a bunch of stuff for my temporary workstation that I likely won’t need this time next year. However, the positive effects of being surrounded by greenery will be a bonus even beyond the current work from home mandate and I’d consider it a worthwhile investment.
I don’t know about you, but this winter has left my skin so dry, I’m basically the texture of a Nature Valley bar. Fortunately for me, plants release most of the moisture they absorb back into the air. Every home is bound to be a little different, but if you often find yourself waking up with a sore or dry throat, you might want to try adding some plants throughout your bedroom. I know a lot of folks who share this struggle, and I’m sorry but a humidifier is like 75$ and not nearly as nice to look at as a leafy frond.
One of the unique results of working from home for me has been the realization that my condo is not as soundproof as I thought. It’s nothing crazy, but being home 24/7 gives me ample opportunity to fixate on the periodic soundscape of my home; the bus stopping outside, the muffled footsteps of my neighbors, or (worst of all) the mysterious creaking of my 100 year old building.
For me, the worst are the noises that are just loud enough that I can hear them. Indoor plants have been proven to absorb and refract sound which means they could help reduce noise in your home. The dream would be to install a full on, floor-to-ceiling moss wall in my living room – unfortunately, that’s just not going to happen for me. That being said, depending on the size, shape and arrangements of plants in your home, you may be able to reduce high-frequency noise pollution in your space.
Now that you’ve spent this much time reading about the researched benefits of plants in the home, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the reason I first got into plants is because they’re such a vibe! For someone like me who’s design expertise does not go much further than YouTube tutorials, plants are the guaranteed easiest and most beautiful way to decorate your space. I cannot tell you how many busted, dumpster-grade rental units I have lived in that I managed to make feel comfortable and Pinterest-y simply by throwing some plants around.
Possibly my favorite part of being a plant person is how much I’ve learned and how strongly I’ve come to care about my plants. There’s a really knowledgeable community of plant-lovers out there who have created all sorts of resources to get you started if you’re not sure where to begin. Once it’s safe to gather in groups again, I’m sure you’ll find that your indoor plants are actually great conversation
starters, and who knows, maybe one day you’ll be asked to write a blog post about the benefits .