And with this in mind, there’s never been a better time to invest in your at-home workspace.
It’s may not be something we think about often (or at all), but the kind of environment we work in can impact our mental health, and making even the smallest of changes – such as adding a plant or two into your space – can make a big difference.
On top of the fact that they’re great to look at, research has shown that having a plant on your desk can help to relieve some of the stress and anxiety we experience throughout the working day – a problem many of us are struggling with as a result of our new working arrangements.
According to a study published in January by a team of scientists at the University of Hyogo, Japan, having a plant on your desk at work can be beneficial for your mental health in the long run.
As part of the study, the team of scientists asked 63 office workers to put a plant on their desks and care for it over a short period, during which their stress levels were measured.
The study was conclusive – the anxiety of the workers decreased “significantly” as a result of the plants being introduced to their deskspace, and simply having the plants within close sight contributed to stress reduction “across the board”.
Of course, reducing our stress and anxiety levels isn’t the only way plants can help our mental health.
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In fact, it’s been suggested that they could help to remedy the effects of SAD – something we could be at greater risk of developing as we work from home. Taking care of plants can also be a great way to practice self-care.
With this being said, it seems like a no-brainer to introduce some greenery into your working environment. Here are 7 adorable desk plants to get you started.
With its delicate, long leaves and elegant stems, the maidenhair fern would make a beautiful addition to any desk.
The only problem? It’s a bit of a drama queen – maidenhair ferns like lots of moisture so you’ll want to keep yours well-watered and mist it every other day, and ensure it gets lots of bright, soft light.
You’ll also want to avoid touching the leaves as much as possible, because they tend to go brown as a result.
Bunny Ears Cactus
Famously hard to kill, a cactus is the perfect plant for anyone looking to get all the benefits of a desk buddy without all the effort.
This Bunny Ears Cactus from Conservatory Archives isn’t just beautiful to look at, it’s also pretty easy to look after – just water when the soil is completely dry and make sure it gets lots of light (if your desk is in a sunny spot, this one’s for you).
Curly Spider Plant
Known for being one of the most adaptable and easy-to-care-for houseplants out there, a spider plant is another great option if you’re looking for a low maintenance desk plant. Spider plants also thrive in low light conditions, meaning they won’t mind living under the artificial lights in an office – just be prepared to cut them back every so often, because they tend to grow like crazy.
This curly spider plant from Patch Plants is the perfect size for popping straight on your desk. To look after him, let the soil dry out between watering and make sure he’s not sat in lots of water.
Small ZZ Plant
If you’re looking for a stylish plant to add a bit of character to your workspace, the ZZ plant is definitely the desk plant for you.
This small-sized one from House Of Kato boasts some beautiful, dark green foliage. The best bit? It requires very little watering and can survive in low light levels, perfect for adding a bit of life to a dingy desk corner.
These little guys come in all shapes, sizes and colours, making it easy to find a desk buddy you love to look at. Much like cacti, succulents retain a lot of water, meaning they don’t need attention more than once a week. Keep them happy by providing natural light.
This set of three mini succulents from Beards & Daisies would make the perfect addition to any type of desk.
Chinese Money Plant
Trick your colleagues into thinking you’re a houseplant expert by picking yourself up a Chinese money plant. These cool-looking little plants need surprisingly little care but look pretty impressive – just provide indirect light and water when the soil is dry, and you’ll have a great looking desk in no time.
This medium-sized one from Beards & Daisies is perfect for adding a bit of character to a bland deskspace.
A favourite of trendy coffee shops and minimalist co-working spaces alike, there’s nothing not to love about the humble snake plant. Although the one in the picture above is probably the most common, there are many different shapes and colours of snake plants out there, so you can take your pick.
This small one from House Of Kato is a great place to start. The best bit? It’s practically indestructible, unless you water it too much.
If working from home is taking its toll on your mental health, you’re not alone. From the isolation of being separated from colleagues to the stress of trying to communicate via technology, there are a number of reasons why you might find this time particularly challenging.
So, what can we do about it? We’ve got a plan.
Our new Work It Out campaign, supported by Mind, aims to give you the tools and resources you need to take care of your mental health while you’re stuck at home. From completing your Work 5 A Day to dealing with issues including to anxiety, loneliness and stress, we’ll be exploring all aspects of WFH wellbeing.
For more information, including how to complete your Work 5 A Day, you can check out our guide to getting started.
Images: Getty/Courtesy Of Suppliers
As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.
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