Most large office spaces make use of office cleaning companies sporadically, usually once or twice a year. These office cleaning services are a definite advantage for business owners and building administrators – they work quickly and efficiently, making use of industrial cleaning agents and the very best machinery to do the job. From windows to furniture to carpets, making use of office cleaning services helps to keep your workplace looking sharp and professional, making a good impression on visitors and clients, as well as improving office morale and overall environmental satisfaction for your employees.
But can an office cleaning company improve the quality of the air in your office? Unfortunately, apart from attempting to keep the space dust-free, there isn’t much that any human being can do to permanently and consistently improve the quality of air that office workers breathe every day. That’s where your office plants come in. They are the silent employees that work for free, and serve an incredibly important function.
In the late ‘80s, NASA conducted a study of common houseplants as a method of purifying the air in outer-space facilities. They found that certain plants are excellent at filtering out toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air.
VOCs in the office environment are far more plentiful than you might think, and can lead to many health issues over periods of extended exposure. They are generated and left behind by building materials, cleaning products, indoor furnishings and even the printers you use!
Many houseplants actively absorb these VOCs, leaving your employees with a workspace free of harmful compounds, and with extra oxygen in abundance! Here are our top office-plant picks for permanently fresh air at work.
Ferns are so good at purification that some experimenters are using them to absorb mercury and arsenic from poisoned soil! Boston ferns in particular are great at absorbing formaldehyde from the air, which comes from glue products as well as pressed-wood products (most office furniture is made from pressed wood).
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These are a favourite in offices because they are able to thrive in low light conditions and go for ages without watering. At night, these plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, leading to a better, fresher office environment in the mornings when we could all use a boost! The snake plant has also been shown to be effective in filtering benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
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Another classic often found in office environments, the many varieties of dracaena are known to be difficult to kill. They can become quite tall, so make sure you have the room for it before you bring a dracaena into your workspace. Over and above making your office look great, dracaenas are fantastic at absorbing xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air, which can be emitted by sealers, varnishes and lacquers.
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