how colourful plants can help reduce workplace stress

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Growing up our house was full of plants which is no surprise given my mother is Dutch… Boy, do they love their indoor plants. I definitely picked up my mother’s love of plants as every house I’ve lived in, no matter where in the world I was based one of the first things I did was go down to the local markets and buy as many plants as I could carry to bring life and bursts of colour into my home.

And back when I worked in an office (in my corporate days) I would often find myself bringing in a colourful pot plant or two to lift my spirits and bring in some joy.

Stats show that 49% of workplace sick days are stress related,[1]  which is not surprising with constant targets, deadlines to meet and often difficult tasks to face.

Coinciding with Mental Health Week, I teamed up with Always Kalanchoe (pronounced ka-lən-ˈkō-ē) to look at how colour and plants can be used to help boost positive feelings, well being and mental health.

Plants are great stress-busters – they have been proven to reduce sick days, increase productivity and enhance creativity[2]

And when you surround yourself with colours you love, it can change how you thing, feel and behave in an instant.

I’ve been buying Kalanchoe (Flaming Katy) for years now. These cuties come in many colours (orange and yellow are my personal favourites), they’re inexpensive and easy to care for and they bloom for 10 weeks with minimal watering – so they need little attention but they give so much back in colourful joy!

Colour is something that is so simple yet can make a positive change to how we are feeling, how we want to feel and how we interact and relate with others.

There’s certainly no time for grey days when it comes to positive mental health at work. Here are my top tips to using colour to boost your working day whether that’s in an office or working from home:

    • Yellow is a welcoming colour – a cheery smile –  so yellow plants will instantly brighten your mood


    • Purple is not only the colour of the year, but is great for quiet contemplation and reflection, to help create that ‘moment of calm’ ahead of an important meeting or interview


    • Red is the colour equivalent of an espresso shot – it will give you an instant energy boost to help meet a deadline or give you the stamina to make a difficult client call


    • Orange elicits fun and playfulness, to help you feel light-hearted and upbeat


    • Soft pink is a nurturing, compassionate colour, perfect for consoling a colleague who has had a rough day


    • Magenta pink is feisty at heart – the perfect colour for challenging the status quo or showing you’re no push over


  • White  elicits clarity, so having a white plant on a desk or in a home office can help to declutter the mind and think clearly.


Do you have a favourite go to plant that cheers you up?


Wishing you a colourful day,

In collaboration with Always Kalanchoe
All images courtesy of Always Kalanchoe



Share the knowledge

Leave a Comment