If, like us, you’re based in central London, then it should be no shock to you to know that London is one of the most polluted places in the UK, which contributes to early deaths to thousands of people who live and work in the city.
A sombre fact we know, but it isn’t all doom and gloom. There are many ways you can detox and improve the air quality in your office space, plants being a simple yet highly effective solution. What’s more, they look great too and have the added benefits of not only helping with people’s physical health, but mental health too. It’s a win-win.
NASA's Clean Air Study found that there are a number of air purifying plants that can detoxify your home and office including the airborne toxins, dusts and germs that can be found in a variety of cleaning products, materials and furniture.
We have established the top 5 best plants to have in your office, all reasonably low maintenance but bring a huge amount of health benefits to your staff.
1. Snake plant
The tough nature of Sansevieria, also known as the snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue is perfect for houseplant newbies. Snake plants require little attention — give it a drink from your water bottle on it on your way out the door on Friday and enjoy this slow-growing desk plant. The snake plant releases oxygen at night by using a type of photosynthesis called Crassulacean acid metabolism (don’t worry we don’t expect you to remember that) meaning that they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night, creating a clean-air environment perfect for your office space in the morning.
2: English ivy
English Ivy could be a perfect solution for your office bathroom. Yep, you heard that right. According to WebMD when researchers put mouldy bread and dog feces in containers and added English Ivy, they measured 60% of the airborne mould and feces had gone from the air and after one day, nearly 100% had gone. It’s also been shown to absorb toxins in the air including formaldehyde (found in building materials most commonly used in pressed wood), styrene (plastic and rubber), carbon monoxide and benzene (found in gas fumes, paints and solvents). Soften the hard lines of a desk with a trailing plant like English ivy or freshen up the bathroom space. Ivy requires medium light and average water to thrive indoors.
3. Rubber plants
If you have a good maintenance regimen, you may want to consider some more impressive office plants. For example, the rubber tree plant brings bold greens and purples to the table. This office plant can grow quite tall and features broad, flat leaves. The Rubber Plant is one tough character capable of surviving and thriving in much less light and lower temperatures than most plants of its size. Of all Ficus plants tested, it scored the best in removing toxins and pollutants from the inside of offices. It is especially tough on formaldehyde, found in many cleaning products. The rubber plants large leaves allow it to draw in large amounts of contaminants, making it highly efficient at cleaning the air.
4. Aloe vera
If you spend a lot of time out of the office but enjoy a sunny workspace, the aloe plant may be your best bet. These favourites live in the desert, so they can handle infrequent watering – as long as they have lots of light. Aloe plants also famously heal damaged and irritated skin and the gel of the aloe plant has been used for hundreds of years to treat various skin conditions. All the toxic chemicals released from building materials, furniture, cleaning supplies, and other products into the air are reduced significantly. This makes it one of our favorites.
5. Spider plant
These scientifically proven Spider Plant Benefits will make you the fan of houseplant. Hard to kill if you’re wanting a super low maintenance plant, spider plant can end your streak of sad looking office plants. The National Wildlife Federation article claims that spider plant removes more than 95 percent of toxic agents from the air. The spider plant significantly removes carbon monoxide from the air. In turn, this creates more oxygen. It also reduces Xylene which is found in leather, rubber and print products making it a perfect candidate for your office space.