Office design concepts are always evolving to keep pace with changing expectations about work and our working environment. At Flow Office, we’re always innovating and adapting to new trends and technologies that allow our clients to create office spaces that meet their developing needs.
Biophilic design is one such trend, allowing business owners to create more natural, relaxing and stress-reducing spaces that increase productivity and reduce absences.
What is biophilic design?
Biophilic office design captures the increasing concern for the natural environment and the positive impact it can have on our health and wellbeing. It looks to intelligently integrate the outdoor and indoor environments, bringing greenery into natural space.
Many people think that biophilic design often means little more than placing more plants in the office. While this will undoubtedly play a part, it is actually a more comprehensive approach to office design that incorporates a wide range of natural elements.
What are the elements of biophilic design?
Biophilic office design can have a number of different elements that come together to create a more natural, stress-reducing and healthy environment. These include:
Increased access to natural light
A large number of office workers have none or very little access to natural light despite the positive impact it can have on employee wellbeing. Biophilic design maximises the natural light coming into the office through windows and other blinds.
Using outside views
Along with maximising natural light the office should have views of the outside world, with the office furniture positioned to enable employees to see it while they are working. If an office has views over beautiful landscapes it may have a built-in advantage, but even offices in urban environments can benefit.
Planting trees and other planted areas outside the building that can be seen from the office help to improve the well-being of employees.
Making use of outside areas
Any outside areas that you have available should be utilised, be they a garden, balcony or roof space. Turn concrete spaces into green, introduce pots and raised beds, along with seating areas for employees to use. If possible, create spaces where people can work outside or conduct client meetings in good weather.
All too often in the past offices were drab or neutral places when it came to the colour palette chosen for decor and furniture. Research indicates that colour can have a positive impact on the mood of people working in an office, with shades of blue and orange being shown to be particularly beneficial.
Using natural materials
Incorporating natural materials such as wood and stone into your office provides texture that helps to mimic the outside world. Natural materials soften and personalise natural spaces, making people feel more at home.
Finally, plants increase oxygen levels in the workplace, improving concentration levels and decreasing mental fatigue. As with natural materials they help to make the office space feel more homely and relaxed.
Enhancing workplace wellbeing
At Flow, we incorporate biophilic design elements into our office design to enhance workplace wellbeing. In fact, whenever we begin working on a new project we place employee mental health at the forefront of our design decision making.
This summer, why not introduce biophilic design to your working environment? It will make all the difference.
To find out more about integrating and promoting workplace wellbeing with your office design, get in touch with Flow Office today.