You must bring a plant! if you rent space from the ministry you must have a plant in your office (a living one!). We have very few rules, but we like this one.

Offices in general can be “toxic” without plants! so we have lots of plants, we name them and talk to them… yes we’re a little nuts. Research shows that indoor air like that found in an office space is up to 2 to 10 times more polluted than the outdoor air due to the synthetic materials found in furniture, carpeting, plywood, and adhesives. Office spaces can also be psychologically harmful when devoid of pictures, souvenirs and other visual distractions, hence the furniture and grand pianos, other eclectic pieces (probably “random junk” to anyone but the founder of the Ministry, but still interesting none the less) dotted about the ministry.

Luckily, all of this can be cured with something as simple as plonking a plant on a desk!

A recent study in offices in the UK and Netherlands proved that employees are 15% more productive when workspaces are filled with just a few houseplants. The potted greenery encourage something pegged by Norwegian scientists as ‘attention restoration theory’ which basically means that when our brains expend a lot of energy on tasks that require direct attention they need a breather from time to time to stay at maximum efficiency and return to this direct attention state. This is something that sleep can solve but during waking hours we can hit the refresh button by shifting our minds to indirect, or effortless forms of engagement – such as touching, staring at, smelling or watering a plant.

Houseplants are also scientifically proven to increase happiness levels in their environment and happy workers are productive workers according to a recent study from the University of Warwick, which found happiness makes people 12% more productive at work.

As for getting rid of those floaty toxic agents in the air, the top class pot plants that not only give eyes a nice green break from screen vision but also work as natural air cleansers are as follows:

English Ivy

NASA scientists love the English Ivy and listed it as the number one best air-filtering houseplant as the most effective plant for absorbing formaldehyde,

Aloe Plant

Can help to monitor the air quality as when the amount of harmful air-borne chemicals becomes excessive the plant’s leaves displays brown spots.

Rubber Tree

One of the most low-maintenance plants is also a powerful air purifier and toxin cleanser.

Peace Lily

The beautiful peace lily plant is a wonderful low-maintenance flower that can also reduce the levels of toxins in the air.

Bamboo Palm

This attractive plant also made NASA’s list of top clean-air plants with a purifying score of 8.4. It’s also particularly effective at clearing out benzene and trichloroethylene.

Spider Plant

One of the most common house plants, decorative, easy to grow, and also make the NASA list of the best air-purifying plants. Spider plants are effective at fighting pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene.

Red-Edged Dracaena

Can grow to be ceiling-height, making it a great plant for filling up space and decorating. It also removes toxins including xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air.

Golden Pothos

The Golden Pothos makes the NASA list for its ability to clear formaldehyde from the air.

Philodendron

Easy to care for and can grow decorative vines. Like the English Ivy, they are particularly good at absorbing formaldehyde.