At home in the work place.

I decided to take a plant to work, to place it on my desk and hoped it would help me feel at home in my new surroundings.

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It’s true.

I read in last month’s copy of Psychologies Magazine - the edition with Keira Knightley grinning at me on the front cover - an article suggesting: taking a plant to work can make your new area feel more like home. Hmmm…

I gave the idea a try, sometimes theory is wonderful, practice can be harder, and I have to admit I was resistant to the idea, because my work is a ‘hot desk role’, no fixed desk abode, so where on earth was I going to place the plant.

I bought a Fuchsia, cute little thing, in bud without bloom. I carried the plant around with me all week, and it attracted a lot of attention. Sadly, not the most positive attention. Some people did say, “hey I like the plant”. Others chose not to see it. And, one did say, “why did you bring in a real one, why not just bring a plastic one, it would be lighter to carry around everywhere.” I have to agree, they were right. Dragging around a plant in a pot, it was heavy, and I often wondered whether the pot would hold the water. What if it spilled all over my bag? My phone and more. The plant became a bit of worry. It was a huge responsibility. I considered leaving it in a room, and returning for it later, but what if others didn’t look after it. I pondered over whether I have trust issues.

This was supposed to be a cute idea, but, all I found myself doing was feeling burdened and weighed down by the responsibility of the plant. How ridiculous was I being?

However, to me, that plant was a piece of home and I didn’t want to leave it behind or see it accidentally harmed. There was too much emotion attached to the plant. I have to admit, all of these thoughts were a distraction from the learning of the new job itself, which could be considered a light relief, if I tried to look for a positive in the experience. I also learned that when I am at work, I prefer to leave the emotional attachment of my personal life at home.

I do believe taking a plant to work is beneficial if you have a fixed abode, and have no plans to go away on a long holiday, or maybe, you can trust another colleague to water and care for that plant in your absence. 

For me the plant will stay at home, because I like to come home to it, and appreciate that I have a responsibility at work to focus on task and my responsibility at home is to look after the things I have chosen to invite into my life and be responsible for, so many people, pets and plants regularly found in the places where I know they will be safe.

So, what do I do instead? What can I take to work that will remind me of good times and give me a positive feeling, a happy state of well-being and make me appreciate that even at times when I feel alone, I am not alone, because I have you? I took a picture of it, for you all to see, because I want to share it. This piece of my home-life is very important to me. I placed the photo in the poster image for this blog, for all to see.  When I have a moment to myself, I don’t need to water it, or feel burdened by it, I take out my magazine, take a deep breath and read an article that will lift my sense of well-being for the rest of day.

Thank you. 

As for the other things that are going on at home, that I can't take to work. I'm going to leave you with a recent photo taken from the garden. I am proudly watching two fledgling pigeons grow. Isn't nature amazing.


Julie Spencer

Ambassador and Learning Support Assistant, Psychologies Magazine

Proud Ambassador for Psychologies Magazine. The magazine encapsulates many of my core values: being kind, have compassion, look after your health and wellbeing, be professional and be supportive of others. A little self belief can go a long way. I have studied as a mature student. I went into a writing frenzy and spent 3 years writing in solitude. I was a stay at home mum, too. What I learned: being alone for long periods of time is bad for your health and wellbeing. Thanks to a little nudge from Psychologies Magazine I am reconnecting and rebuilding my C.V. I'm a creative. I have lots of ideas and I need to constantly realign my focus onto one project at a time. Until recently I had a real fear for public speaking, but after reading a book that suggested I acknowledge my fears and challenge them anyway; with the support of the Psychologies community and more I'm working through my fears one blog at a time.