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You’ll want to invest in these modern office fern-ishings.

As developers, we spend a LOT of time behind screens and within the confines of our office. And we know we’re not alone. The average full-time employee sits in their office 8 hrs a day. That’s 40 hrs a week, 2,080 hours a year….however you math it, that’s a large chunk of your waking hours.

Also, let’s be honest with ourselves: offices aren’t the cleanest places. They’ve definitely seen their fair share of dust and grime. And if you’re working in a space that hasn’t been remodeled since the 80’s, let’s just say that dirt and dust has had plenty long to build up.

So what can we do to improve our quality of life when we spend so much time within the office walls?

Why, plants, of course!

These little, leafy-green guys have been proven to provide both physical and emotional benefits that will make your workday that much more pleasant.

1. They’re air purifiers

Poor air quality is one of the top five environmental risks to public health. “Sick building syndrome” is caused by poor ventilation and contaminated air can cause chronic headaches, dizziness, nausea, and eye, ear, and nose irritation. NASA’s Clean Air Study found that there are a number of air purifying plants that can detoxify your home from airborne toxins, dust and germs. Cleaner air means a healthier employees, and a healthier employees mean less absence for a more productive work environment. And speaking of…

2. They make you more focused (and more creative, too)

Plants can help you with focus and productivity without even needing to be in your space. Attention restoration theory suggests that looking at nature—whether that be plants in your office space or a desk facing the great outdoors—can shift the brain into a more relaxed, focused state of mind. Have your desk facing a wall, or stuck in a cubicle? A small desk plant or water feature can greatly improve your sense of calm within the workplace.

3. They reduce noise

Plants—especially large, potted plants—throughout your space will absorb chatter and distracting noise. Whether you’re an open co-working space or a sea of cubicles, having a quiet work environment is key for a sane, productive day.

4. They’re pretty, dang it

Hey, it’s true. An office space—or any space, for that matter—full of plants is going to make you feel much more at home. Enough said.

Worried you might not have the green thumb to keep your office plants alive? Pick the best air purifying plants for you based on your environment, desired maintenance, and skill level.