Benefits of Biophilic Design

Add more greenery & light to your office

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It is a known fact that employees feel better about their work, both emotionally and physically, when they are surrounded by greenery, fresh air, natural lighting and that this directly affects the quality of their work output. Research shows that employees who work in an environment with plants, reported that they experienced increased workplace satisfaction, improved levels of concentration, and felt that the air quality was better.

By introducing plants into the office environment, either in pots or in the form of living green walls, it is possible to improve air quality significantly as the vegetation absorbs pollutants, toxins and airborne microbes. Improved air quality is top of the pops as one of the biggest benefits of biophilic design because it plays an important role in reducing absenteeism – a massive business cost.

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It is estimated that many employees spend as much as 90 percent of their time inside buildings and cars.  However, quite a few studies show how proximity to nature helps foster a more positive outlook.  Incorporating natural elements, such as indoor water features and wooden furniture, or providing people with access to natural light and beautiful views, can help to create a more positive office atmosphere. With the boundaries between work and personal life becoming blurred, so the idea of how to optimise wellness is becoming more important. Natural light plays a surprisingly important role in terms of productivity.

However, for offices in which natural light is not the dominant source, circadian lighting could hit the sweet spot.  This lighting system is specifically designed to tap into the proven cycles our bodies follow each day, based on the position, angle and colour of natural sunlight at any given time.

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Forget the glaring fluorescent rays of yesteryear; instead, designers are keeping it simple, using natural light as a primary element when renovating workplaces. One way a company might do this is by moving meeting rooms and private offices to the core of the building, replacing any wooden doors with glass to better reflect sunlight.  Meanwhile, employee desks line the perimeter of the space also getting access to direct sunlight from windows near their workstations. Other businesses might install skylights, which designers say are becoming more popular because they can lower energy bills and reduce worker stress levels

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In the end it’s all about the comfort factor, and having natural light decreases the need for artificial light during daytime hours.  Furthermore, it’s a known fact that many people enjoy a connection to the outdoors. Another growing trend is to open workspaces to create separate zones that can be used for different purposes. Biophilic design can also promote a sense of belonging, particularly in activity-based workplaces, where employees tend to not have a permanent workstation. This approach can help make up for some of the challenges that come with more impersonal spaces.

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Some offices can feel quite cold and sterile, but if you add plants, wood, light, it feels more human and more relatable at a sub-conscious level.  It is, therefore, important that a company’s personality echoes what it wants its employees and clients to feel. Health and aesthetically pleasing elements of biophilic design mean brand awareness is bolstered.