Happiness & Wellbeing

Using Biophilic Design in the Office

By wizu | 04 March 2022

Have you heard of biophilic design? This design concept helps you bring the outside into the office! It’s all about touches of nature, such as plants, brought into the office’s interior design. The aim is to bring nature into the office while creating a homey, comfortable environment for the workplace.

As the world becomes greener, biophilic design helps improve the office environment in other ways, too. In this article, we take a look at the benefits of biophilic design and bringing the outdoors in!

 

The Benefits of Using Plants in the Office

Many studies have shown that bringing plants into the office has many benefits for the environment and employees. For instance, plants help to reduce stress in the workplace. In addition, plants work to uplift employees’ spirits and make the office feel more welcoming.

In addition, the colour green in the office may also produce a relaxing, calming effect. Using this colour in combination with plants can work wonders on employee mood and productivity (hint—both increase!)

Studies have also shown that plants work to reduce sickness and absentee rates. For example, researchers have found that employees who work in offices with no plants have a higher sickness rate. On the other hand, those with plants in their office are usually healthier and happier, with higher productivity scores.

It’s thought that plants help reduce what’s called sick building syndrome. This syndrome causes humans to develop symptoms that make them sick. Their symptoms usually increase the longer they’re in the building. But once the individuals leave, their symptoms begin to improve.

Using plants in the office can help improve indoor air quality, remove harmful chemicals from the air, and more.

Plants also make the office more attractive to job applicants! This may be a surprising benefit of plants in the office. When an office is welcoming and friendly, has good indoor air quality, and has touches of nature throughout, the effect is quite positive. Job candidates may be inspired to get that job if they’re happy with the office!

Another surprising fact that not many people realise is that plants also reduce noise levels. Think of how noisy an office can be. However, if this office contains plants, they work to absorb sounds. As a result, they help cut down on distractions and noise levels that make it difficult to get things done.

Plants in the office can also boost creativity. Research has shown that employees in an office with plants scored higher on creativity than employees without plants in their offices. It’s thought that looking at nature and natural elements can help divert the brain into a relaxed mode. The effect can help employees feel better and enjoy better focus and concentration.

With all of these benefits, it’s time to consider bringing more plants into the office.

 

How to Incorporate Biophilic Design in the Office

Biophilic design is not just about bringing potted plants into the office. It also involves a lot of creativity to bring natural elements into the workspace. Here are some ideas you may want to consider.

 

1. Install Accent Walls

Accent walls, also called focal walls, are an essential element to interior decorating. Traditionally, these walls are designed with murals, wallpaper, or a specific colour intended to draw the eyes to that space. However, it’s possible to do the same with biophilic design.

A biophilic wall brings nature onto a specific wall in the workspace. It’s a touch of nature in our overly technological worlds. A biophilic wall can be simple or complex, depending on what you want to accomplish with the design.

A biophilic focal wall may be a vertical garden, a living wall of plants, preserved moss walls, and more. The materials used to create the wall are sustainable and may use technology to keep these living walls alive and healthy.

 

2. Use Only Natural Materials

Along with plants and biophilic design, it’s also possible to bring more nature into the office through the use of natural materials. We are referring to:

  • Stone
  • Wood
  • Water features
  • And more

These natural elements can be used in many parts of the office. For example, you might consider using reclaimed wood on walls or the floor. Layered stones might be used for hallways and entryways (high-traffic areas), and a water fountain could be included in the reception area. Each of these ideas brings a welcome touch of nature into the workspace.

The key here is to ensure all-natural elements are only created with sustainable materials.

 

3. Use of Natural Scents

Natural scents are another way to bring nature into the office. They recreate scents we know and love, such as the smell of the ocean, rain, cut grass, forest leaves, and more. In addition, there are air fresheners made with safe, natural ingredients that can help your office smell better and bring nature into the indoor environment.

It’s essential to find scents that are not overpowering and are made with natural, organic ingredients. Another consideration is employees that may have respiratory conditions and allergies.

If scents are not safe to use in the office, then you might consider creating an edible garden on the rooftop. This would be a free space where employees could go on break. They can enjoy a healthy, natural snack and take in some rays at the same time!

 

4. Don’t Forget Potted Plants

Potted plants still have a place in biophilic design! They’re usually simple and effective to use in office design. What’s more, they work to improve and oxygenate indoor air, keeping everyone healthy and focused. The colours of potted plants also add more vibrancy to a dull office.

When choosing plants for your office, remember those that flower, too. Choose diverse plants with different colour foliage and flowers to create a more natural arrangement in the office.

Some plants you might consider for the workplace include:

  • Spider plants
  • Aloe vera
  • Cactus
  • Succulents
  • Ivy
  • Rubber plants
  • Peace lilies
  • Philodendron
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Bamboo

These plants are very hardy and add a beautiful touch of nature indoors. Studies have also shown these plants do improve indoor air quality, too!

 

Summing It Up

Adding a touch of nature to the office is a great way to improve the office environment. Plants and natural elements can make employees feel better, keep them healthier, and improve productivity. So, what’s stopping you from adding plants to your office?

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