Biophilic design, the trend in interior design and architecture, is transforming the way we view and experience the workplace. In the heart of bustling city offices, biophilic design is a future of creativity and well-being.
In this article, we will look into some features of biophilic design that can be used indoors for offices. While plants can be a prominent feature of biophilic design, they are not the sole requirement. Biophilic design is about creating spaces that bring people closer to nature. In this article, we will look into the world of biophilic design inside the workplace, exploring useful tips and the impact it has on mental health and productivity. What does biophilic design mean in today's green and smart building era?
Benefits of Biophilic Design in a Workplace
It's fascinating to consider how deeply ingrained biophilia is in our human nature. From an evolutionary perspective, nature served a critical purpose – helping us locate the most fertile land for survival. This primal connection continues to influence our lives today, particularly in the context of office environments. Let us look into 3 benefits of having a biophilic design in your office:
1. Attract employees, and make them happy and productive:
In 2019, a global survey highlighted a compelling connection between employee satisfaction and workplace productivity. It revealed that when satisfied with their workspace employees were not only 16% more productive but also 18% more likely to remain with their employers and 30% more attracted to their companies over competitors. However, this was a pre-pandemic landscape. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the dynamics of the workplace have evolved dramatically. With the rise of remote work and hybrid models, the concept of the office has been reshaped. Yet, the importance of office space remains evident, as it plays a crucial role in fostering employee well-being and engagement. Incorporating elements like plants in an office can create a more inviting atmosphere, enticing employees back to the office environment.
In a survey conducted by the Management Today magazine, 97% of the respondents regarded their place of work as a symbol of whether or not they were valued by their employer. Read more about this in the Biophilic design white paper
We are publishing monthly scientific insights for people who are interested in plant research, and actionable insights. There you can find how we analytically prove that biophilic elements can reduce the stress levels of employees, increase focus, and enhance cognitive performance.
2. Improve air quality and track the changes in your air:
The choice of plants strategically placed in biophilic office environments offers more than visual appeal. These living elements act as natural air purifiers, fostering cleaner, fresher air that promotes respiratory health (read more about improving indoor air quality with plants). Biophilic design in meeting rooms, corridors, and communal areas creates pockets of tranquility where occupants can inhale rejuvenating oxygen and exhale worries.
3. And keep sustainability at Heart:
Will the integration of plants into the office make it automatically more sustainable? The answer is no, but it will potentially help reduce the need for HVAC, reduce office heat in summer, and save money on office decorations. This synergy between design and sustainability is a cornerstone of biophilic principles.
Best practices for biophilic offices
At its core, biophilic design is about considering the entire office design and incorporating natural elements and plant compositions as a whole rather than just concentrating on separate plant placement. Crafting a biophilic design in an office can be challenging without the proper expertise or a hired specialist. However, there are a handful of uncomplicated solutions that can elevate an office to new heights, seamlessly integrating nature-inspired elements and enhancing the overall environment.
Green plant island
Arranging plants purposefully next to each other works like magic, forming charming "green islands" right in your office. This simple arrangement creates the delightful illusion of an oasis in the midst of a workspace, adding a friendly and refreshing vibe to the office environment. The tall plants arranged together with short ones create different shapes and engage people while they spend time indoors.
"The Green Gardens provide another exciting work environment for us. They are a variety of retreats and promote creativity. In addition, the room climate is excellent, which is also shown by the measured values. Although the Green Gardens are equipped with standard workstations, the ambiance differs from that of the team zones due to the loose arrangement of the desks." Nicholas Gysi, Head of Real Estate & Admin Services at Swissgrid
Green walls or Vertical wall
Incorporating biophilic principles into interior design can take various forms, which entails integrating natural elements directly into the architecture and layout of the space. What are green walls? Green walls are vertical structures on which planted pots are placed to create the visually unseparated appearance of a jungle green wall.
Plant curtains or Climbers and Vines
Those are usually simply plant pots that are hung in such a way, that long vines cover and absorb sunlight, these plants bring an organic dynamism to vertical spaces—the best solution for large windows and filtering the natural light that comes through.
For the best impression of natural curtains, we use Aeshynanthus Lobinus for the employees it is a pleasant surprise when it blooms red bright flowers.
While adding plants to an office space is undoubtedly a positive step towards incorporating elements of biophilic design, it's essential to recognize that true biophilic design goes beyond greenery alone. Elements such as biophilic and uncoated wooden furniture contribute significantly to the biophilic aesthetic and underlying principles. For instance, opting for uncoated wooden furniture not only enhances the bio-picture but also aligns with sustainability goals by reducing the introduction of chemicals into the room. Similarly, biophilic furniture choices can create a harmonious connection between nature and the built environment.
Additionally, the advantages of having plants in the office cannot be overstated. They offer numerous benefits, including improved air quality, enhanced mental well-being, increased creativity, and greater overall productivity. Incorporating plants into the workspace is a versatile and effective way to foster a more inviting and healthy office environment. So, while plants are a valuable component of biophilic design, a holistic approach that includes thoughtful furniture choices can further amplify the positive impact on the office space and its occupants.
Had the pleasure of describing biophilic design