Burned-out Chinese employees have now come up with an innovative way to deal with work stress– grow green bananas! And while the idea would sound bizarre to some, apparently it has worked for several Chinese workers. So much so that cultivating green bananas on the work desk to beat stress and boost productivity has now become a viral trend in China.
Why are employees cultivating bananas on their work desks in China?
Called ‘Stop Banana Green’, the trend got its name from a phrase in Mandarin, ‘ting zhi jiao lu’ which when translated into English means “stop anxiety”. In this trend, employees purchase green bananas that are still attached to the stem, and they place these banana stems in a vase filled with water on their work desks. The employees care for these plants, and within a few days, the bananas turn from green to yellow. The process of seeing bananas ripe is said to be a simple yet effective way for employees to feel less stressed at the workplace.
Talking about it, a netizen was quoted by The South China Morning Post, “From lush green to golden yellow, every moment is filled with endless hope and surprises.” The person further added, “Eat away the anxiety and let your troubles vanish.”
The trend began on China’s social media platform Xiaohongshu, which is similar to Instagram, where posts about ‘Stop Banana Green’ got more than 22,000 likes.
How does the ‘Stop Banana Green’ trend help in reducing work stress?

It is known that being in nature or something as simple as keeping plants on the work desk helps in reducing stress and uplifting one’s mood. And so, cultivating bananas is a similar way for many Chinese employees to deal with work stress and anxiety. Caring for the plant and watching the bananas ripen promotes a sense of happiness and fulfillment among employees, as it is a fun way to distract from the daily work pressures.
Moreover, cultivating bananas on the work desk has also helped some people build positive relationships with their co-workers at work. Such plants are natural conversation starters for some people, while others are writing names on the banana peels to reserve them for their work friends and colleagues which helps in team bonding.
While the trend is viral in China, some people have questioned whether it is a marketing gimmick to promote banana sales. “Are bananas not selling well this year? I’ve seen this type of banana being advertised more than once, and they are more expensive than buying them directly,” a user pointed out on Xiaohongshu.
Apart from cultivating bananas, some Chinese employees have also started cultivating pineapples in water and vases on their work desk for the same reasons.
Benefits of keeping plants on work-desk

Plants galore

1. For some people, decorating their work desk helps them feel a sense of belonging to the place where they spend a major part of their day.
2. Keeping indoor plants on the work desk not only helps reduce stress, but also improves the air quality of the place.
3. Tending to your plants for even 5 minutes a day, either by pruning them or watering them, can uplift one’s mood and help in reducing stress and anxiety.
4. Keeping plants on the work desk can boost one’s cognitive function and concentration.
5. The presence of natural elements like plants on one’s workspace can help stimulate their mind and foster creative thinking.

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