Get a plant and bring nature indoors.
Well, most of us are eager to take a few days off for the holidays. Here’s an idea: plan to buy a plant for your office or home. If you don’t have the chance to go outdoors as much as you would like, why not bring a little outdoors, indoors?

Even a small plant can make a big difference!
Working indoors all day can feel draining sometimes. One simple way to boost your happiness in the office is to bring a little nature into your workspace with you!

While you can’t control the indoor climate in an office, you can improve the way the space looks and feels by brightening it up with a plant or two.

Office spaces can easily become too hot, too cold, too dry or too damp. Finding the perfect balance of temperature and air quality for a group of people is a big challenge as we all have different preferences.

In addition printers, copiers, computer monitors, floor coverings, paint and wallpaper can release substances into the air which affects the quality of the indoor climate.

The potential consequences of poor air quality are well known: irritated eyes, headache, skin complaints and dry membranes in the nose and mouth. This is not only unpleasant, it is also unhealthy.

Yet you can easily improve the indoor climate by using plants! Plants help create a healthy indoor climate and a happier workplace. Not only do they put water vapor back into the air, they also absorb heat and filter dust and harmful substances out of the air.

The effect of plants in the workplace has been the subject of repeated scientific investigation. Time after time the conclusion is the same: plants work! Here are some ways they help improve the quality of our work areas.

Fewer complaints & less illness
Some indoor palms give off a lot of water, which helps keep humidity in the air and prevent dry eyes and nasal membranes. Plants like sword ferns cleanse the air of the formaldehyde released by building materials, paper and furniture. Other good air-purifying plants are the rubber plant, English ivy and date palm.

More plants means less stress
The presence of plants does not just affect the physical climate. Researchers have discovered that a view of greenery can result in a demonstrable reduction in stress within five minutes. Research has shown that people who spend more than four hours a day working at a computer monitor feel better and are more productive with plants in the workplace!

The green view
Companies are increasingly willing to accept that they have a key role to play in protecting the environment and the welfare of their employees, and therefore often strive for a ‘green’ image. Presenting such an image starts with a healthy indoor environment. Plants at work fit perfectly within many company policies. Check with your employer to see what the workplace rules are regarding plants in the office.

Bring a little bit of nature to your desk or home
With your employer’s blessing, you can give the gift of a better workplace to yourself and those around you. Bring a little nature to your desk by adding a plant which purifies the air or helps reduce stress and makes you feel more productive. If you don’t work in an office or at a desk, get a few more plants for your home. Look for plants which do well in lower light settings and avoid flowering plants as others may have allergies.

In my book, 21 Days to Happiness, I talk about the importance of spending time outside in nature. It can be difficult to get outside every day, especially if you live in a place with cold winters. Bringing a few plants inside isn’t a substitute for all the benefits of getting outdoors, but it’s a small, easy thing you can do to improve your happiness in the time you spend inside.

From me to you, HAPPY holidays…it’ll be a perfect time to read my book or offer it to someone special and apply some of the tips , especially the ones focusing on family and friends and taking care of you!

Ingrid Kelada

Business Psychologist/Happiness Expert

KCC Inc.