It’s very easy for people to feel disconnected from nature these days due to growing global urbanisation and the increased time we spend indoors. When people work in an environment devoid of nature, they can feel more stressed, tired and less motivated – not what you want for your business to thrive!
Biophilic design is all about bringing elements of nature into a space. It’s based on the concept of biophilia which recognises humans innate biological need to connect with nature. Implementing biophilic design in the workspace can deliver many benefits, including increased productivity, creativity, energy, happiness and wellbeing for employees. This is why the popularity of biophilic office design is swiftly growing amongst forward-thinking organisations who recognise the benefits for their employees and business.
Back to the basics
With biophilic design, natural materials, colours, patterns and light are brought into the office to enhance the experience of being in the space. Technological advancements can make some working environments seem incredibly stressful and fast-paced, but elements of nature can help create calm and bring us back to being in the moment. A report call The Economics of Biophilia said that fresh air could provide an 11% rise in productivity, with good lighting and access to views delivering a 23% improvement. It was also suggested that access to daylight could lead to an 18% increase in productivity. Who wouldn’t want this for their office space?
A healthier, happier workforce
Feeling ‘cooped-up’ is a common complaint amongst workers with various studies suggesting that windowless offices with only artificial forms of light can be detrimental to productivity and wellbeing. It’s widely agreed that biophilic design can combat this, helping to reduce rates of absenteeism.
Creating the room and environment so that your teams can ‘breathe’ is another key feature of biophilic design. Ensuring spaces have natural ventilation is important. Plants can help improve the air quality within your workplace by removing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Minimising indoor air pollution can help keep your staff healthy and reduce headaches, eye, nose and throat irritations and other illnesses. Indoor plants also provide visual stimulation for your employees and certainly make offices seem more alive and welcoming.
The benefits of natural light
Lighting is incredibly important for creating that ideal biophilic environment. Harsh artificial lighting can result in eye strain, headaches and tiredness. If you can, try not to cover windows with blinds and make sure all desks are within a short distance from windows. Skylights also make it much easier to bring extra daylight into your office. There’s nothing quite like natural light when it comes to lifting the mood, so try to make access to this a priority.
It can also be helpful to give people a visual connection to nature, be this looking outside at trees and the sky, to looking at images of natural scenes. This is an aspect to consider when deciding where to position workstations and how to decorate the space.
Natural materials in the office
When it comes to materials, wood, stone and granite are great for making your office appear more natural and welcoming. Natural colour schemes including earthy tones such as green and brown can boost productivity and mood, as can blues and white, which are associated with the sky, sea and clouds. Drawing on shapes and patterns that are seen in nature can also be effective.
Even people that work from home can experience the benefits of biophilic design by adding elements such as plants to their working environments, seeing an upturn in their mood and general wellbeing as a result.
If you’re thinking about introducing biophilic design elements into your work environment, it’s worth engaging your team to help you create an environment which suits their needs.
Contact us today
To find out more about how Flow Office can help you create a workspace that embraces biophilic design, contact us today. You can reach us by calling 01922 453 488 or by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.