Would you like to be 6% more productive while working? Or how about 15% more creative? Maybe you want to increase your sense of well-being?
Incorporating nature into your office space can positively impact your sense of well-being, productivity, and creativity.
If you’ve ever caught yourself starring at the window at the office at the end of a long draining day then biophilia may just be for you.
As human beings, we’re drawn to nature. This inherent human inclination to affiliate with nature is known as biophilia. Biophilic design, which is an extension of biophilia, incorporates natural materials, natural light, vegetation, nature views and other experiences of the natural world into the modern built environment.
Our relationship with our environment can significantly impact how we feel, perform, and interact with others. So, designing spaces that inspire, energize and support the people who use them is very important. Incorporating nature into the built environment through biophilic design also makes good business sense. It’s a sound economic investment into employees’ health, well-being and performance.
A study measuring “The global impact of biophilic design in the workplace,” found that biophilic design in the workplace has a positive, measurable impact on employees.
Workers in office environments with natural elements, such as greenery and sunlight, report a 15% higher level of well-being, are 6% more productive, and are 15% more creative.
While several studies have demonstrated the benefits of incorporating nature into the office environment, a large number of employees still report having little or no contact with nature in their workplace.
47% report having no natural light in their workplace and 58% report having no natural greenery (live plants).
Research shows that when people enter a workplace that incorporates nature, they are more likely to feel happy and motivated for the day ahead.
Incorporating nature into your office space
Implementing nature into your office can be difficult and overwhelming. If you’re working for a large company with a cubicle as an office, it’s nearly impossible to implement structural changes but you can add plants. If you have a home office maybe you can buy a wooden desk or create a living wall.
Studies show that the top 5 elements most wanted in an office space are:
Natural light (44%)
Indoor plants (20%)
Quiet working space (19%)
View of the sea (17%)
Bright colours (15%)
Now some of these are easier to implement than others. It’s very difficult for an employee to add a window. And who doesn’t want to a view of the sea? If we’re talking about office views I’d like either of view of the Manhattan skyline or one of the ocean but both are very unrealistic.
Here is a list of 4 simple ways to incorporate nature into your office, from phs GreenLeaf, to help inspire you to get started:
1. Introduce real and artificial plants
The easiest and most cost-effective way to bring nature into your workplace is through the introduction of office plants – whether real or artificial. This will add a more natural and welcoming feel to the office. Real plants can also reduce unpleasant symptoms, such as headaches, coughing, and a general feeling of being unwell, as plants reduce dust, mold, and CO2 levels.
2. Make the most of natural daylight
Artificial light can leave workers feeling more tired at the end of the working day to eye strain and headaches from the harsh fluorescent lighting. Instead, try making the most of your office’s natural light, by making sure that windows aren’t fully covered by blinds, and that workers’ desks are faced towards windows, rather than away from them.
3. Use natural colour schemes and shapes
One of the key components of biophilic design is utilizing natural colours and shapes when decorating the office. In terms of colour schemes, this largely involves earthy tones, such as greens, browns, golds, and tans, as well as blues and white to mimic the sea, sky, and clouds. Incorporating green accents in offices has been found to be the most effective by boosting employees’ motivation, enthusiasm and productivity. Organic shaped furniture is also more effective than geometric since it does appear man-made.
4. Incorporate wood, stone and granite
You can bring nature into the office by utilizing natural materials, such as wood, stone, granite, cork, and marble in the design. Each of these materials can be incorporated as finishes on the likes of pillars, shelving, cupboards and desks. Wooden furniture is also a great option because it’s very durable and readily available. If you really want to get creative with the design, you can use artificial plants to create living walls which would be an incredible focal point to any room.