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Using the natural environment to enhance wellbeing in the workplace

Biophilic design in office space has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many studies highlighting the positive impact the merging of the outside natural environment can have on the built environment.

Incorporating creative and distinctive biophilic design in offices and open spaces, such as living walls, roof top gardens, water features and strategically placed greenery, can help to create both inspiring and engaging workplace environments. Not only can biophilic design encourage creative thinking, and enhance a positive atmosphere, but it can also create impact, inspiration and leave a positive lastly impression on those who encounter it.  Incorporating a creative and well-designed biophilic design into an organisation’s workplace can positively reflect and instil a company’s culture with its employees, and support its commitment and positive attitude towards its employees’ health and wellbeing in the workplace.

What is Biophilic Design?

The concept of biophilic design is focused on acknowledging the connection humans have to nature, and the positive benefits of incorporating the natural world into the places in which live and work, can provide for our mental and physical wellbeing.  A biophilic design is more than just adding plants to an indoor space (which is a common misconception) but instead aims to enhance the connection to nature on several levels, through the inclusion of plants, water, natural light, fresh air and the use of colours, textures and natural and sustainable materials to create welcoming and enjoyable environments.

Biophilia in Office Design:

The overall goal of biophilic office design is to create a working environment that is both aesthetically pleasing and beneficial to productivity and wellbeing.  In the workplace, biophilic office design is increasingly being used by employers to create a positive reflection of the company’s culture and help entice and retain people in their business.  Using biophilic office design as a tool to reflect the organisations core values and their commitment to the wellbeing of their employees can be extremely effective and help achieve an environment where people are engaged, inspired and look forward to working in. Studies have shown the positive impact of biophilic design on work related topics such as a reduction in absenteeism and stress levels, enhancement of mental health and improvement of mood and concentration.

Benefits of biophilic office design:

Biophilic office design can offer an organisation and its employees a variety of benefits:

  1. Reduce stress level and improve mental wellbeing – By adding natural light and varying textures and colours throughout the space, it will instantly connect people with the outside natural environment, and help them destress while away from their desks. Adding fresh air and plants can help transport them away from the business of their working life and instore a tranquil and relaxing setting enabling them to decompress and reset during lunch and breaktimes.
  2. Spark creativity – Working in a creative and inspiring workplace which employees actually want to come to on a daily basis can have extremely positive outcomes for staff creativity. Creating collaborative spaces which are inviting through the use of natural light, colour, and placement of greenery can all help to encourage collaboration and creative thinking away from traditional desk settings.
  3. Improvement in air quality – Adding live plants to the workplace can help improve the overall air quality in an indoor workspace. Through photosynthesis, plants convert the carbon dioxide which staff are breathing out and turn it into fresh oxygen.  Plants can also assist with removing toxins from air contributing towards making the air in the office cleaner throughout the day.
  4. Attract and retain staff – Many employees spend more time in the workplace than they do in their own homes! Providing an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable workplace environment with good levels of natural light and a well-designed mix of the natural environment can help to both attract and retain the right people into the workforce by making their working environment one which they enjoy and want to come to daily.
  5. Support commitment to sustainability – Using natural and sustainable materials in the office is a great way to incorporate the natural environment into the office space, whilst supporting a company’s commitment to sustainability and protecting the natural environment.

To enquire about how biophilia could be incorporated into your office design, contact us here 

 

 

 

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