With office design, our focus is now on our ability to improve the space for everyone, recognising the individual’s value in the workplace. This year, 2018, office design is “vitality:” taking the office space beyond being a place we tolerate to becoming energised and full of possibilities. One trend, one simple principle, Biophilic Office Design – otherwise known as ‘Greening the Office‘ has continued to popularise offices across the globe, creating a healthier and more productive habitat for modern humans.
What is Biophilia?
Biophilia. This term refers to a love of life and living things, though it more specifically refers to the connection humans feel with nature, and their basic, biological need to remain in close contact with it. Human nature dictates that we are drawn to natural textures like moss, wood, stone and metals and it’s this simplified principle that lies behind Biophilic Office Design, bringing the elements of the outdoors into the workplace.
Photo Credit: Inner Space Cheshire
The Workplace Today
Office design and the workplace it utterly unrecognisable today compared to 10 years ago. In today’s modern society, it is about the staff, their experience interacting with the space and their mental health. It is now a critical tool that can help to attract (and retain) the best and brightest talent, and consequently companies are investing more and more to create workplaces where staff simply love working! As the line becomes blurred between work, home and our social life, the office design is becoming an increasingly important factor offering staff a more holistic experience.
Why Biophilic Office Design?
The acceptance and adoption of this type of design is rooted by numerous studies that have proven that incorporating elements of nature into their workplace, this has enhanced creativity, team morale, staff productivity, as well as health benefits. Human Space highlighted that workplaces who have introduced elements of nature have witnessed a decrease in the levels of mental fatigue among staff members and an increase in levels of workplace wellbeing. Not only this, they reference they reference Maslow, of the hierarchy of needs fame, who studied office design and workplace aesthetics in the 1950’s and who found that the quality of office design had an impact on staff energy levels and morale. Evidently, this progression has been many years in the making.
Further research has shown that introducing plants to the office can lower feelings of tension and anxiety by around 37%, while another study concluded that the performance of students improved when plants were brought into the classroom. Not only that, but plants in hospitals have been shown to speed up patients’ recovery times.
Different ways to bring nature into the office
- Living Walls or Moss Walls
- Real and artificial plants
- Natural Daylight
- Incorporate wood, cork, stone, granite and marble – all of which can be incorporated as finishes on the likes of pillars, shelving, cupboards and desks.
- Landscape Prints
- Utilising natural colours and shapes, earthy tones, as well as blues and whites to mimic the sea, sky and clouds.
Benefits of Biophilic Office Design
Chris Alldred (Designer Director at K2 Space), says: “Simply put, plant life and bringing nature into the workplace has numerous benefits, but this needs to be embraced alongside other factors such as providing staff with choice, natural light, and colour to have a measured impact. The big advantage of plant life in the workplace is that it increases oxygen levels, which helps concentration and decreases mental fatigue; studies have also shown that staff working in spaces with greenery are more productive.
Here is a summary of the benefits:
- Improved Productivity
- Increased Creativity
- Improved Concentration Levels
- Enhanced Staff Well Being
- Greater Staff Retention
- Boosted Employees’ Motivation
- Decreased Mental Fatigue
- Increased Oxygen Levels
Biophilia is what you make it; personalise your environment to suit you.
Get started with Triangle Nursery? They have a range of fresh products, from moss to fresh flowers that will bring you office environment to life and your staff will certainly reap the benefits. Click here to view more.
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