“Beneficial bacteria on indoor plants and in their soil are an important addition to the office, stabilising the ecology of the built synthetic environment,” researcher Danica-Lea Larcombe writes for The Conversation.
“[It] could also help to avoid outbreaks of pathogens by balancing the complex network of the ecosystem. A wholesome balance may reduce the indigence of viral illness and the number of sick days among staff.”
In a study across 51 offices by the Agricultural University of Olso, Norway, those that contained plants had a 30 percent reduction in reported sore throats, 40 percent in coughs and 30 percent in headaches. General fatigue was also reduced by up to 20 percent.
And that’s not the only reason to fork out for a fiddle-leaf fig.
Plants can clear the air of toxic substances that are commonly found in office furnishings and cleaning products (looking at you, ammonia).
“Ideally, you want plants that will ‘scrub’ the air of pathogens, improve the office’s mix of bacteria, and survive in low light with little care,” adds Danica.
The top air-purifying picks? Areca palm, aloe vera, English ivy, Boston fern, peace lily, weeping figs and lady palms.
As if you needed another excuse to get your green on.