Unless it’s "Take Your Child to Work Day," you’re probably not allowed to bring a living being to the office with you (with the exception of guide dogs, of course). But what you can have is a plant – which is not only living, but also totally beneficial for your health.
If you find yourself rubbing your itchy eyes all day, it's probably because of the low humidity level. This is very common in office environments. Plants increase relative humidity, which for humans to feel comfortable, should be somewhere around 50 percent. So before you head over to Costco and buy those eye drops in bulk, try putting and plant or two near your work space.
Plants also clean the air, reducing pollutant gases like nitrogen dioxide. They scrub away airborne dust, which in turn, further reduces that dry office feeling.
Along with moisture levels, plants help warm up temperatures, but you’d probably need a mini forest on your desk to make any significant changes. If you're not willing to commit to that, it's okay, just one has the power to warm your spirits.
University of Washington reports that bringing the outdoors inside improves employee morale, increases efficiency and decreases absenteeism. Plants reduce illness – both physical and mental. A study shows 71 percent of people experienced reduced depression levels after being around nature.
And if you have trouble focusing with that chatterbox employee you work with (if it’s not you), plants soak up background noise. The leaves and branches work like little sound absorbing panels.
If you like the idea of being happy and healthy at work, want to get a plant, but don’t consider yourself a green thumb, check out Alice Dublin's article on iVillage for the easiest plants to care for.
Inspiration for this article brought to you by my office hypostes.