Biophilic office design: bringing nature into the work place_

Biophilia is a ‘love of life or living systems’. It’s our need for being connected to the natural world.

In the modern world of endless technology, the fundamental connection to nature can sometimes get lost. But, by consciously including nature in interior or architectural design, we are reconnecting and bringing the great outdoors in to our constructed world.

Biophilic design significantly impacts how humans behave in the workplace.  Studies confirm that humans need to be closer to nature in order to be productive in the workplace, be healthier and to experience an overall sense of wellbeing.

A report by ‘The Global Human Spaces’ found that:

• 33% of office workers say that the design of an office would affect their decision to work for a company
• 47% of employees have no natural light in their office
• 58% confirmed that their workspace hasn’t got a single plant
• 67% said that they felt happier when walking in to bright office environments accented with green, yellow or blue colours

Workers were asked to list their top 5 most wanted elements within their workspace:

• 44% said natural light
• 20% opted for plants
• 19% requested a quiet working space
• 17% would like views of the sea
• 15% wanted bright colours

What are the advantages of a biophilic office?

A persons general well-being can increase by up to 15% when working in surroundings integrated with nature. Their general well-being can increase satisfaction, creativity, teamwork, and productivity, all of which impact an organization’s bottom line.

By focusing on nature, even subconsciously, people can replenish mental stores of attention control. Even the shortest of time observing nature can reap benefits. Looking at nature through a window, taking a walk outside or sitting on a park bench for five minutes can boost attention spans in the workplace. So why not bring nature inside the office and reap the benefits long term.

Studies have shown that nature can stimulate creativity. Creativity often depends on memory, which is improved through exposure to nature. Overall brain function is critical to lowering stress, which can also be accomplished by spending time in nature.

Simply exposing employees to plants throughout the office can raise productivity by as much as 15%. An individual’s well-being, attention, and creativity are directly proportional to productivity; when one or all increase, so does productivity.

With so many advantages of being close to nature, it’s no wonder that the Biophilic office is becoming ever more popular. 

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