My room at work is currently being redecorated (repainted, new carpet and desks). We are about to move back in and the place stinks of paint.

How can I get rid of the smell, are there any office plants that could help remove the smell faster? I'm in the UK if that helps.

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about office plants – gnat Sep 9 '14 at 12:14
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    @MichaelKjörling - not really suitable for Home Improvement. We don't usually do this sort of question. – ChrisF Sep 9 '14 at 13:17
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    @gnat The page you linked states "[this site] is a question and answer site about the workplace and other career-related topics." This question is about my workplace and is quite likely to apply to the workplace of many other stack exchange users, could my question stay please? – Ralph Sep 9 '14 at 13:31
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    Quite agree this should be kept open. I think it's a valid question. – Terence Eden Sep 9 '14 at 13:33
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    I think this is a valid question for The Workplace; it's about a problem encountered in the workplace and, if your office is typical, you have fewer options for mitigation than you do in your home. (For example, you probably can't open the windows.) That said, a better way to ask the question might be "what can I do to mitigate the smell?", with plants being one possible solution. Who knows; people may come up with others. – Monica Cellio Sep 9 '14 at 18:55

The "spider plant" (Chlorophytum comosum) is a very useful office plant. It doesn't take much maintenance, and it reduces indoor pollution (especially formaldehyde). It might help.

Apart from that, placing glasses of vinegar will also help dissipate the smell, provided you don't mind the smell of vinegar...

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The paint fumes are unlikely to be toxic (I hope!) - but it would be worth carrying out a Health and Safety check just to make sure. In extreme cases, paint fumes in enclosed spaces can kill.

The best way to get rid of smells is not to cover them up. We're at the tail end of summer now, so I would suggest keeping your windows open for as long as the weather remains mild.

Improve the ventilation, have someone in looking after the building over the weekend while you air it out.

And get some plants to cheer up your employees :-)

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    Can't remember the last office I worked in that had windows you could open. – user8365 Sep 9 '14 at 18:24

How about asking if there is an option to work from home for a few days while the smell dissipates and the building airs out or working from another room at the office building? If the fumes are particularly strong, it's not always practical to expect an employee to be productive with distractions (depends on the line of work - I expect painters to be productive even with the smell...)

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    Am not allowed to work from home unfortunately :-( – Ralph Sep 10 '14 at 8:49
  • When this happened to me my office mate and I took our laptops and worked out of an empty conference room for a day and a half. – arp May 18 '18 at 20:56

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