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September 26, 2020 —

The Benefits of Biophilic Design in Workplace

We spend an overwhelming amount of time indoors at our jobs, and unfortunately, most workplaces are stripped of any connection to the natural environment.

Numerous scientific studies have shown that greenery has a positive effect on our mood, productivity and wellbeing. Dr. Craig Knight from Exeter University, who has been studying “the role of plants in lives” since a decade, concluded that the employees were 15% more satisfied, and more productive when their workplaces were filled with plants.

It’s because humans have an innate wish to stay close to nature. This phenomenon is scientifically called ‘biophilia’ which means love of life. 

Biophilic workplace design focuses on bringing nature’s experiences to us indoor. It gives both, employees and employers, access to nature’s elements such as living plants, water, daylight, natural materials, and fractal patterns.

Here’s how Biophilic workplace design benefits workplace environments:

Reduces Absence Rates

The 2015 Human Spaces report studied 7,600 employees in 16 countries. It concluded that almost 58% of workers have no plants in their workspaces.

Offices that use plants in the workplace reported 5% higher wellbeing and a 6% better productivity than employees with no natural elements in their workplace. Use of plants in the workplace decreases symptoms of illnesses, including concentration issues, fatigue, irritation in the eyes and dry skin. It further results in reduced sickness among employees and decreased absence rates. 

Green feature wall with neon lighting

Makes the Workplace Visually Inviting 

Green walls featuring artificial grass or plants are a great way to embrace biophilic workplace design. These walls create a welcoming and cozy ambiance at offices. Though green walls take a bit more planning and maintenance, it is a simple, cost-effective approach to introducing visual biophilic elements.

Feature green wall with moss and identity signage

You can also choose ferns and potted plants at the corners, terrariums on every desk, and green elements in common areas to bring nature indoors and into the social and communal zones. Artwork depicting natural elements such as painted leaves, custom illustrations of nature and wall coverings can also increase a more relaxing effect than abstract prints or city scenes.

The Sense Of Touch To Induce Happiness 

Our tactile senses, on enjoying nature, make our body release serotonin and oxytocin hormones that spark a lasting sense of delight.

Including natural elements like bamboo, stone, and wood in work areas and break areas aid our tactile senses. Ideally, a room with a 45% wood ratio induces a feeling of comfort, while 90% wood ratio may slow down brain activity. So choose the ratio of natural elements thoughtfully to maintain the Biophilic balance. 

Beautiful grained-wood walls, leather upholstery, natural wool, stone table tops – the options are endless to mix and match textures.

Final Words

While real nature offers far better physiological and psychological benefits of biophilic corporate design, elements mimicking nature also offer many significant benefits. Addition of appropriate houseplants, paintings, green walls, illustrations, and wallcoverings can also be a viable option to improve the perception of your space.