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NextGen Magazine


What of the Office Plants?

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 26, 2020
With so many now working from home, some might wonder what has become of the humble office plant? From the little cactus on your desk to the mighty ficus in the corner of your conference room, these plants need care, after all. Who's doing that?

The New York Times has a photo essay exploring this very question. In some offices, skeleton crews that do the work that absolutely cannot be done from home have been taking care of these duties. In others offices, especially ones where there's literally zero people, that job goes to the maintenance staff, or to a specialized "interior hortoculturalist" (a job this Trusted Professional writer had never heard of before) or, in some cases, to plant-loving volunteers. Plant caretakers are finding that, in this time of crisis, office greenery is actually growing more slowly or even going dormant as air flow tapers and heating is turned off.

It is likely, however, that many offices are doing nothing at all, meaning that when they finally do reopen, workers will be greeted with the sight of shriveled dead plants ,which is likely not the kind of image people need when working amid a deadly pandemic. Maybe the firm can spring for new plants in such cases and have them waiting for people before they formally return to work.