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 Plants for the office and home - and why they are a healthy option
Increasing productivity
Having plants in the office has
been found to increase worker
productivity. Not only are they
found to reduce stress and fatigue
whilst aiding memory retention,
they also regulate humidity and
reduce carbon dioxide, both of
which help employees remain
energised. Bamboo Palm is known
for its ability to fight indoor air
pollution, promoting clear-thinking
and easy breathing. Another good
home office plant is Golden
Pothos which removes air toxins
and absorbs unpleasant smells – the perfect plant to keep by the fridge.
Help you sleep
Whether you struggle to drift off or are easily disturbed in the night, keeping a potted Aloe Vera plant beside your bed could help you see the night through, as it produces oxygen at night to combat insomnia and improve overall sleep quality. Jasmine flower is also believed to reduce anxiety levels which in turn will help you drift off to sleep, and the gentle scent will keep you in a deep sleep throughout the night.
Reduce anxiety
Mental health is a big topic of discussion at the moment and it’s important to take time for self-care. An easy way to improve your mood and help reduce anxiety whilst working from home is to fill your home office space with plants. Lavender is known for its stress-relieving qualities – it slows down the heart rate and lowers blood pressure to greatly reduce stress. This is why its scent can often be found in lotions and sprays. Snake Plant is also believed to reduce anxiety, improve respiratory problems and cure the symptoms of a headache.
Clean the air
Removing harmful toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene will keep you happy and healthy. Rubber Plant and Peace Lilies are both incredibly effective at purifying the air around you. Rubber Plants are great for removing harmful toxins, particularly formaldehyde, and these plants become more efficient at cleaning the air as time goes on. Peace Lilies are also believed to improve air quality by as much as 60 per cent and true to their name, bring with them a sense of peace and relaxation which will help you remain focused whilst working remotely.
Repel insects
Mint and Basil can be used to keep insects and unwanted pests at bay. Mint is known to repel mosquitoes due to its
strong smell – it can even keep mice away. Another great insect repellent is Basil, (shown left) which can be planted around doors and
windows to keep bugs from entering your office space.
 Information supplied by Serenataflowers.com
  your car to reach the drive. Some councils may request their own contractors are used for this job, so it’s worth investigating before moving forward with this project, as the cost can vary greatly.
5 Fencing and Garden Walls
Is your garden lacking a bit of privacy? Adding either fencing or garden walls can be completed without planning permission and the rules are pretty straightforward. For most fences, they would need to be no higher than 2m, or 1m where it adjoins a road or path. You may need to consult with a neighbour if the boundary is shared, otherwise, that’s it, you can start digging!
6 Sheds and Other Garden Buildings
For most sheds and outbuildings (summer houses and log cabins included!), planning permission is not required. This is another project which is covered by your “permitted development rights” which allows you to build without planning permission, providing your build meets certain criteria.
For sheds and outbuildings, this means they shouldn’t cover more than 50% of your garden, they should be single-storey and no higher than 4m or 2.5m, depending on the type of roof structure and how close it is to a boundary. There are also conditions based on usage too. For more information, waltons.co.uk has a thorough guide.
7 Garages and CarPorts
If you’d prefer to invest in a garage over a shed then thankfully this too can complete without planning permission. If the garage is attached to the house, then it must be less than 30 square metres in size, or if detached, less than 15-square metres. It must also be under 4m in height (or 2.5m in height if within 2m of a boundary) and not provide a living space.
Garages attached to a house may require building regulations, however, those detached are usually exempt unless they are above 30 square metres in size.
8 Decking
Decking is a great way to add a modern and practical outdoor floor, particularly if you’re looking for a project that’s quick, easy and DIY-friendly. If it’s not raised more than 30cm from the ground level and won’t cover more than 50% of your garden, then this is an incredibly straightforward job that won’t require planning permission..
Information supplied by Russ Jones - go to PropertyWorkshop.com to see his home improvement blog
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