Biophilic design has been proven to positively impact productivity levels and employees well-being. Incorporating elements of nature and the outside environment into office design can be a good choice for professionals wanting to see increased productivity and positivity from their team.
Biophilic design is the process of incorporating elements of nature, either directly or indirectly, into a built environment, to the benefit of those who are exposed to or utilise that environment. It is based on the term Biophilia, first cited by psychologist Erich Fromm in his 1964 work The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness. Biophilia refers to an apparently innate connection humans feel with the natural world.
The reason it has become such a common term within the world of interiors design, particularly office design, is because of findings from incorporating elements of the natural environment show increased levels of personal wellness, mood, physical health and rates of productivity.
Office designers focus on it primarily because of the shift towards clinical office spaces and work environments that has come with urban living. Professionals are always on the lookout for ways to negate the negative impact in regards to physical and mental health that is commonly associated with sterile design with artificial light.
If you are interested in benefiting from biophilia in your workplace, here are some of the ways that you can go about integrating it in your office.
Introducing plants to the office
The simplest way to benefit from biophilic design is to introduce plants to your office. These can improve air quality as well as making an office feel more natural and welcoming. Studies have shown that because they reduce Co2 levels and dust/mold, pot plants can actually reduce the chances of team members becoming ill.
Breaking down the walls and letting the light in
Natural light is incredibly important in an office environment. Alongside the biophilic benefit, artificial lighting can cause headaches and eye strain, which is totally negated by natural light. With increased natural light, either by windows or skylights, fatigue levels are reduced. Recommendations have been made that desks should be place 20 to 25 feet from windows and face them, rather than away from them.
Building living walls and using natural colour schemes
A living wall is an incredibly innovative and dynamic statement of office culture – but not only that, it also has all the air quality benefits associated with pot plants. Green colour accents in offices have been shown to boost mood and mental alertness, alongside being the ideal colour to reduce eye strain. Living walls and natural colour schemes will boost your employees’ enthusiasm and productivity.
Incorporating the natural into graphics
Biophilic design doesn’t necessarily always need to be living. If you want to benefit from biophilic design, you can use natural scenes in wall graphics. For example, a scene of a forest floor has been proven to benefit people’s productivity and alertness. You can also bring the outside in simply by incorporating natural materials such as wood, stone and cork.