Your Guide to Office Plants The benefits of office biophilia and the pros & cons of both artificial and real plants in the office


Office plants play many roles in the workplace, from improving air quality to boosting employee creativity and productivity. We recently had the pleasure of catching up with one of our suppliers Oasis Plants, to explore their different ranges of office biophilia and new trends we expect to see in 2024. At Ben Johnson Interiors, we understand that no two businesses are the same, so why should all plant displays be the same? Each of our clients have different requests when it comes to adding some greenery into the office, one example is our recently completed project for Appleyard Lees who had keen gardeners in the team, so we ensured we sourced live plants throughout the office rather than faux.

Real plants only for the team at Appleyard Lees!

Throughout this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of plants and biophilia in the office, the pros and cons associated with real and faux plants in an office setting, and office plant trends.

The benefits of plants and biophilia in the office

  • Acoustic Values- Plants can absorb background noise, however, it is suggested that plant selection is crucial to achieve these affects.

  • Employee Wellbeing- Office plants improve employee wellbeing by 14%.

  • Employee Productivity- Office plants increase employee productivity by up to 15%.

  • Air Cooling- Live office plants can work as air conditioning. Eco Tree explains that real plants and their environment cause evapotranspiration, cooling down the surroundings.

  • Improve air quality levels- Live plants clean the air through the process of photosynthesis.

  • Aesthetic appeal and mood boost- Not only does office biophilia look good, an article by very well mind suggests that some researchers think the positive association with green is hardwired in our brains from evolution.

  • Office screens and partitions- Living screens or green screens are a type of indoor plant that can be used to divide up space in an office setting, creating privacy and offering an alternative to boring walls and dividers, a great way to create zones in your office space!

Real Office Plans- the pros and cons 

Displaying real plants in your office space can increase employee wellbeing by 14% as they naturally remove toxins from the air, thus filtering the air we breathe indoors. Productivity can be increased by up to 15%, improving attention span by creating a more conductive atmosphere for tasks that require deep thinking, according to Plantsie. Green design can reduce levels of absence, creating a healthier office environment. Real plants in an office environment are visually appealing and boost employee mood and morale, studies also show that people prefer to occupy rooms that contain plants.

Looking into the cost of live plants, there are many options and clients have the option of rental and a maintenance plan with our suppliers, resulting in a lower upfront cost than any artificial plants. The cons of real plants in the office include the fact that they can be high maintenance, depending on which plants you choose.

Artificial Office Plants- the pros and cons 

Artificial plants in the office provide almost the same visual affect that real plants do, you reap the benefits of the aesthetic and the look and feel. Faux plants also require little to no maintenance, meaning you will never have to worry about who’s going to keep the plants alive. Oasis plants suggest that the choice of artificial plants could be larger as the location of the plant is not an issue. There are many unique combinations available if you opt for faux plants, such as green walls and planters- without the worry of the upkeep. Allergies is also a main consideration, whilst allergies associated with real plants are extremely rare, there is no risk of allergies at all with artificial office plants.

Pros covered, lets talk about the cons. Choosing faux over real plants means that you will immediately miss out on some of the benefits real plants offer, such as improved air quality and absorbing toxins. Unless your chosen faux plants are fire rated, they can be hazardous as they can ignite faster than real plants and the initial cost can often be more expensive. Some faux plants can be harmful to the environment with they way they are produced, too. Finally, dust… faux plants tend to be dust collectors, so whilst the maintenance is low, it is not zero.

That said, our trusted plant suppliers have a wealth of experience, with over 1000 plants to choose from, including desk end planters, living walls and green walls, we’re sure you’ll find the right plant for you!

Office Biophilia Trends 

From moss walls to desk end planters, and everything in between, we’ve seen lots of different office biophilia trends over the years, lets take a look at some of our past projects.


We used biophilic design to brighten the space for Firmenich, complimenting the natural textures and colours utilised throughout the scheme.

We added some lovely greenery to the office for our client Harworth, with a feature green wall incorporating their branding, and storage planters with real plants. 

The LeoVegas office has many quirky, unique greenery features, go check out the case study here for some inspiration! 

Weightmans LLP Case Study - Ben Johnson Interiors

We jazzed up the Weightmans LLP office with a custom wall manifestation, using moss, sustainability was a key focus.

We added lots of biophilia for our client KnowBe4 in Leeds, such as feature planting.

Due to the lack of natural lighting at West Barn Co, we brought the outside in and incorporated lots of greenery in this office design, go check it out.

The Oasis team explained that super-power plants are trending and are a popular choice amongst workplace plants, these include; Snake plant, Spider plant, Chinese evergreen, Peace Lily, Ficus, Kentia palm and Epipremnum, all of which were identified by NASA in a clean air study, proving that these plants work the hardest when it comes to removing chemicals from the air.

Artificial green walls are still a popular choice within office design, as they require very little maintenance, take Circus PPC as an example, a project we completed in 2022. However, as sustainability is becoming increasingly important, there have been questions surrounding whether artificial green walls are environmentally friendly and whether they are recyclable.

Upon entering the Circus office in Leeds, you are greeted with a feature green wall.

Following on nicely from green walls, preserved foliage and preserved foliage walls are becoming increasingly popular in office environments and we expect the popularity of these to rise in 2024. Recently, there has been a push on flowers and foliage. Preserved foliage walls were once live, now dried, meaning they require no maintenance, they are good for the environment, sustainably sourced and most are fully biodegradable, a better choice for those businesses who are working towards any sustainability goals! One important thing to mention is that they are more expensive, however they offer the same benefits that real plants do, such as purifying the air. To keep them looking fresh and great, avoid exposing them to bright, direct sunlight, keep them away from heat sources and dust them lightly.

Moss Walls are another example of an office biophilia trend that we have seen over the last few years, we recently incorporated a moss wall into one of our projects for Keepmoat Homes. Moss is usually prepared on plywood panels and fixed to a suitable substrate on site, which is suitable for indoor use only, you’ll be surprised to hear that moss walls require no maintenance as they are preserved, all moss walls are totally bespoke by nature.

We wanted to bring the outside in for Keepmoat Homes, so we used biophilic design throughout the office to keep things natural.

Desk end planters and storage planters have been around for years, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon, they are a very popular choice amongst our clients. Desk end planters and storage planters can be created with real or artificial plants, they are aesthetically pleasing and for the most part, affordable. Both planting options are fitted with a waterproof membrane and help maintain a clear desk policy, discouraging items from being left on top of storage units.

Desk end planters were installed throughout the desk area for our client Firmenich, they were also keen to keep a clean desk policy, so this was a great solution for the team.

Almost all of our projects incorporate some form of office biophilia, we use our internal knowledge from what we have learnt over the years, with our experienced suppliers on hand offering advice along the way. If you’re thinking about how you can level up your office space, get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!