With changing attitudes and technology advances making us increasingly aware of our health and wellness we are realising the spaces we work in should cater more to these needs. Biophilia is the innate human attraction to nature and natural processes, it recognises that we as humans are a part of nature, not apart from nature and we are at our best when in natural environments.
Introducing biophilia into your workplace design has been demonstrated through research to have significant physiological and physical benefits. Health benefits span to including the ability to reduce stress whilst physiologically it has been said to increase productivity, creativity and general feelings of well-being.
How to incorporate biophilia design into your workplace:
Maximise natural light
Sunlight has a huge impact on health and general well-being in the workplace, helping to regulate the body’s sleeping patterns and circadian rhythms. Modern workplace design allows for the optimisation of spaces with a more human centric focus, open plan work environments and we often see the placement of cellular offices and meetings rooms near the core of the floorplate, allowing for large, open plan desking around the perimeter closer to glazing, allowing natural light to flood spaces where most people will be working.
Planting and greenery
Simply adding greenery in the form of indoor plants can have major positive benefits for employees and enable them to feel more in tune with nature. Incorporating plants into your offices is said to enhance employee performance on memory retention, improve work retention rates, deter illness and promote clean-air breathing. Your staff will be able to enjoy natures beauty and feel more connected to the outside world whilst at work, ultimately leading to happier and healthier employees. Additionally an office with vibrant greenery conveys a positive and engaging brand image to your visitors.
If real planting isn’t an option then there are indirect connections to be made with nature when you incorporate man-made objects and features that mimic natural forms, patterns, materials, colour or textures. This is known as biomimicry. Naturally occurring aesthetics have an intrinsic ability to create both complexity and order whilst also being visually stimulating. The repetitive patterns we see in nature are referred to as ‘fractals’ – which are the geometric figures and shapes that repeat at increasingly fine magnifications to make up the same character as the whole. Human visual systems have adapted to efficiently process fractals with ease and they have been found to have a profoundly calming impact. The inclusion of these patterns and textures in your workplace will create a harmonious working environment and allow your staff to better contribute to your organisational goals.