Office Buddies

Working in an office has its highs and lows.  The collaboration of an effective team can be a wonderfully inspiring thing, driving people to achieve and adding value to their day.  Conversely, some people a just plain difficult to get along with.  They cause upset and bullying can make people impotent, frustrated and drive down productivity.  Myer Briggs and others have sliced and diced this for decades, but understanding can help us all grow to be our best self and find suitable ‘office buddies’.  

People are as diverse as plants, but here are a few (plant) personality types in the office:

  1. Judges – you know, the ones with the schedules, reminders, deadlines, and to-do lists. They are ambitious, a little OCD and determined.  They might also look scornfully over at the person with the messy desk and tch-- tch.  If they were a plant, perhaps they would be a cactus.  Let’s face it, the Fibonacci patterns of the spines are perfect, but they can also be a bit prickly, so arm yourself and handle with care.
  2. Mr Elastic – flexible, adaptable, open-minded, and spontaneous. These guys respond well to unpredictable situations and can pivot on a dime and were an asset during the pandemic.  In the plant world, look no further than the Rubber Tree, equalling malleable when it comes to positions in the home.
  3. The Extravert – the ones that love being in teams and thrive brainstorming with their co-workers. The lively, energetic extravert of the plant world is the orchid.  They are often epiphytic in the wild, growing on a host, which is indicative of their teamworking habit.Of course, just because it can grow there, doesn’t mean there isn’t another option that might be less of a hassle in the long run!
  4. The Introvert – the one that beavers away quietly by themselves. They tick all the ‘works independently’ boxes, and as far as plants go, surely they are a Sansevieria?  They get the job done without a song and dance.
  5. The Contemplative type – rational, objective, and analytical, delving into the nitty gritty of the topic in a deep dive that can scare away the surface dwellers. Ponder away awhile and perhaps the palm might come to mind.  It’s tough and tenacious, and certainly worth sitting under to contemplate!
  6. The Sensitive Type – the don’t necessarily go off the facts, but rather the ‘feels’ for a project. It’s about being passionate and supportive.  Philodendrons have all the key characteristics.  Some even have heart shaped leaves!!  Many have aerial roots too, so they can really get ‘the feels’ for the support workers!
  7. The Fake – yes, there are plenty of those in the office, and occasionally you might be tempted to pop in a silk version to your office space. Just remember, they don’t make you feel good, have no properties to transform the air or energy of a room, and add to the bad toxins in the air rather than eliminate them.  You’re better off in the long run with the real deal, even if it’s a short-term fix, than the fake that never leaves!


By: Meredith Kirton