When you think of a typical office, what words come to mind? If you answered “calming”, “inspiring”, “vibrant”, or “enriching” – your office may already use biophilic design practices! If not, keep reading to discover how to create an office space that makes people feel good.
WHAT IS BIOPHILIC DESIGN?
Biophilic design incorporates natural elements into architecture or interior design to connect building occupants with nature. The idea for biophilic design comes from “biophilia”. This is the hypothesis that humans have an innate desire to seek connection with nature.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BIOPHILIC DESIGN IN OFFICE SPACES?
The goal of biophilic design is to improve physical and mental well-being, boost creativity and productivity, and make the built environment more sustainable.
Studies have shown that biophilic design can benefit office workers in the following ways:
- Reduce stress
- Improve mood
- Increase productivity
- Enhance creativity
This leads to reduced sick leave, increased job satisfaction, and supports employee retention and attraction.
USING BIOPHILIC DESIGN IN YOUR OFFICE: 7 TIPS
No matter your location or budget, you can incorporate biophilic design elements in your office. Here are 7 tips for getting started with biophilic design.
1. USE NATURAL LIGHTING
Maximize the use of natural light by positioning desks and common areas near windows. Bonus points if the windows offer views of outdoor green spaces or other natural elements.
2. CREATE OUTDOOR GREEN SPACES
Give employees a space to get some fresh air throughout the day. Create rooftop gardens or terraces where people can work, take breaks, or have meetings. It might lead to the most creative team brainstorms yet!
3. OFFER OPPORTUNITIES TO INTERACT WITH WILDLIFE
Encourage employees to connect more deeply with nature by offering opportunities to interact with wildlife. You could place bird feeders near windows, install wild bee homes outside, or even adopt a rooftop honey bee hive.Bring a bee habitat to your building
Honey bee hives and BeeHomes for wild bees are safe and meaningful ways for employees to connect with nature at the office.
4. GROW INDOOR PLANTS
Green spaces aren’t just for the outdoors. Potted plants or even a plant wall give an office a burst of color and contribute to purifying the air. Choose plants that are low maintenance and appropriate for your indoor environment. This will ensure they stay lush and green with minimal effort on your part.
5. INCORPORATE WATER FEATURES
The sound of flowing water can be soothing and help create a calming atmosphere. Try adding an indoor fountain, water wall, or small aquarium.
6. FEATURE NATURE-INSPIRED ART AND DECOR
Opt for art and decor that mimics natural patterns and textures. Think wallpaper with a leaf print or textured fabrics with the feel of natural materials. Reflect nature in your color palette as well by choosing earthy tones, greens, blues, and soft pastels.
7. MAKE SPACE FOR OUTDOOR TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES
Giving employees chances to connect with nature at the office is an effective way to boost employee engagement. Host social gatherings on the terrace or organize team building events like a gardening class or urban beekeeping workshop.
Using biophilic design principles in your office space doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Even small changes can have positive effects on all who use the office.