Connecting with nature has proven biological and emotional benefits. Studies have concluded that American workers spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. This is why we turn to biophilic office design to bring the outdoors into our workplaces and connect our inherent need to affiliate with nature.
Companies are going beyond the occasional desk plant and bringing “green” office design to a new standard. This trend has grown steadily, and the many proven benefits of biophilic design have made it the new norm for the modern office, rather than a luxury implemented by only the most lucrative Fortune 500 companies.
WHAT IS BIOPHILIC OFFICE DESIGN?
As a practice, biophilic office design is a movement that recognizes the important benefits and positive effects of incorporating nature and natural elements into the office. To achieve this, interior designers use natural light, plants of varying heights and textures, nature-inspired art and fabric, and imaginative use of light and shade to bring the feeling of nature into the workspace.
EMPLOYEE WELL-BEING BENEFITS
Humans have an innate need to connect with nature, so introducing biophilic design into offices has a positive impact on employees’ well-being and energy. Research shows biophilia improves blood flow, heart rate, and stress levels. Using natural elements also improves employee’s mental health. A study in Europe that added biophilic designs to the workplace found that 88% of employees reported feeling rejuvenated, more productive, and said their sense of well-being improved because of these elements.
Promoting employee well-being is a competitive advantage for employers, and using biophilic office design is a key component to attracting top talent, employee retention, and increasing productivity.
Biophilic office design is good for a company’s bottom line. The results of a study conducted in regard to biophilic office design and employee productivity prove a significant positive financial impact. In one instance, a call center invested $1,000 per employee to ensure they all could view the outdoors from their workstation. The average productivity savings per employee was $2,990, which is a significant return on investment.
When placed properly throughout an office space, inexpensive plants will improve air quality, help with noise reduction, and help cool indoor spaces by adding shade. Green living walls act as insulators helping to keep heat out during the summer and retain it during the winter, reducing the cost of an office’s energy bills. For buildings that want LEED or WELL certifications, adding biophilic office design is a cost-effective way to add points to their score.
In order to meet the demands of an increasingly wellness-minded workforce, bringing nature into an office design is imperative. Biophilic design has more benefits for your employees than being visually pleasing. Improved air quality, employee well-being, and productivity are worth consideration when determining your office design dollars.
Here are some easy ways to bring biophilic design to your office space:
- Offer access to natural light by placing employee workstations within 25 feet of a window.
- Use nature-inspired textiles in your wall decor and chair fabrics.
- Incorporate an earthy color palette with browns, blues, and greens.
- Place plants inside as accessories or living walls.
Want to incorporate biophilic design in your space? Call us and schedule a free design consult.