During a period of uncertainty in our everyday lives and routines, the majority who normally reside in an office have made the transition to working from home. Often without the luxury of a dedicated space, we settle to working in the corner of the living room, on half the dining table or from the comfort of our own bedroom. But there's one thing we can do to boost productivity and a sense of calm; adding more houseplants to our work space.
With no clarity on how long it will be, we’re reluctant to spend a fortune on a new office desk or chair, instead making do and resigning ourselves to a hectic, multi-purpose working area. Recognising the need and desire amongst us all to transform our home into a productive working space without breaking the bank, Thejoyofplants.co.uk (opens in new tab) has teamed up with biophilic designer and expert Oliver Heath to showcase how the houseplants you may already have in your home can play a pivotal and affordable role in achieving this.
And if this inspires you to purchase even more greenery to transform your home office, some plant shops and retailers are offering precautionary contactless delivery options. So let the productivity commence...
MORE HOUSEPLANTS, PLEASE
Just the simple act of introducing more greenery into your home has been proven to boost productivity. Findings from a study titled The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace demonstrated respondents working in places with natural features expressed feeling 6% more productive and 15% more creative at work. So, wherever you set up to tackle your to-do list for the day, make sure there’s a houseplant in sight.
IN THE BEDROOM
There’s no denying the importance of a good night’s sleep before a day at work, and houseplants in your bedroom can help improve this. Oliver Heath references how 'poor sleep is commonly associated with lower level of productivity and reduced cognitive function so it’s crucial to ensure we’re promoting healthy sleep in our homes'. Unlike other houseplants, snake plants release oxygen at night so if you have one they make a great addition to your bedroom to promote sleep, ensuring you work efficiently the next day.
IN THE KITCHEN/DINING ROOM
Dining tables are often the hub for eating, hosting and working from home. Laptops, notebooks and documents often take priority on the table leaving little room for plants, so Oliver Heath recommends hanging your plants in the windows. This hack makes a clever use of little space which is often the case in rented properties and hanging houseplants creates natural textures and patterns which draw us to set up station near the window. Oliver says: 'With high levels of natural light, working near windows and plants can reset our circadian rhythms, positively impacting mood, communication and productivity.'
IN THE LIVING ROOM
No week at work comes without a little stress so it’s integral our home working environment is restorative and relaxing. If you work most productively on the sofa, then fringing this with plenty of houseplants will make this space calming, for when you need it most. Oliver Heath suggests Boston ferns here as 'they introduce lots of natural movement which has been shown to help us relax and restore focus'.
IN OPEN PLAN ROOMS
With different houses comes different floor plans, and open plan living spaces are common, which sees kitchen, living and dining areas combined. In homes like these, Oliver says 'placing your plants on open shelves is an ideal solution to ensuring a level of separation between productive spaces where an occupant can work, and others where socialising or switching off is key'. Houseplants such as Peace Lilies look beautiful while removing toxins from the air, so are the perfect choice for a shelf or screen in a central position.
Ruth Doherty is a lifestyle journalist based in London. An experienced freelance digital writer and editor, she is known for covering everything from travel and interiors to fashion and beauty. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, as well as titles like Prima and Red. Outside of work, her biggest loves are endless cups of tea, almond croissants, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, and booking holidays she does.
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