Employees spend 90% of their time indoors, and 35% of workers spend less than 15 minutes outdoors on a normal working day. For a species that has an inherent need to connect with nature, those statistics are terrible, to say the least.
Organizations wish to rectify these stats by adopting new systems to integrate the outdoor experience inside the office, where we spend eight hours or more each day.
The new concept is known as biophilia—integrating nature into human life through interior design and architecture.
Large companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook have adopted the concept in a big way in their offices, and more organizations are catching on the trend.
Benefits of Integrating Biophilic Elements In Your Office
There is growing evidence that supports the claim that introducing natural elements to office spaces improves wellbeing and even efficiency. Some studies show that biophilic elements help reduce anxiety and pressure by 37%.
Some well-documented benefits include:
- Improved productivity – employees who have contact with nature are 15% more productive than those without. Factors such as better air quality, enhanced concentration, and enriched wellbeing contribute towards improving productivity.
- Improved focus – plants help increase concentration levels, whereby plants improve oxygen circulation in the office. And in turn, it lowers mental fatigue leading to better concentration and productivity.
- Stimulates creativity – The design aspect has positive effects on creativity and also allowing access to natural light.
These factors lead to improved employees’ wellbeing, which ultimately leads to productivity growth.
When you provide a convenient working environment, employees end up staying longer with the company. Thus it helps to increase the retention rates.
But how can you include biophilic elements in your office décor?
It’s easy and straightforward—by using naturally occurring materials and color schemes. Below are ways to assimilate nature into your office.
Adding Living Plants
The simplest way to add biophilic elements in your office is by adding living plants.
The plants create an inviting atmosphere and also help to reduce CO2 levels, mildew, and dust.
And as a result, the cleaner air will help prevent unpleasant feelings such as nausea, coughing, and headaches.
However, if you can’t get genuine plants and you still need to create a biophilic effect, you can use synthetic plants.
Despite that they wouldn’t be able to replenish the air—they can still help to improve your staffs’ health by improving concentration and attitude.
Allow as much Daylight as possible
Artificial bright light is not ideal for your office staff as it may affect their well-being, such as causing headaches and eye strain, which leads to reduced efficiency.
Employees who use bright artificial light are more tired than those who don’t at the close of business.
Instead of investing in numerous fluorescent lighting in your office, allow as much natural light as possible in the office.
How do you get natural light in the office?
Uncover window blinds, arrange the employee’s desk to face towards the widows. Ideally, desks should be 20—25 feet from the windows. You can also install skylights which turn the ceiling into a light source.
Use Naturally occurring Materials
Natural occurring materials such as stones, granite, and wood in their true form can help to get nature in your office.
Therefore you can include naturally occurring materials as finishes on the walls and furniture, which still retains the natural shape such as log cabinets and desks.
The employees can feel the texture of the material and imagine the outdoors.
Additionally, you can make living walls with artificial plants such as hydroponic vertical gardens and vines to create an outdoor feeling in your office. And also water bodies that bring a sense of calmness to the office.
Even though the plants are artificial, they trigger nature-oriented feeling when employees look at them. The experience brings about a sense of belonging and calmness, leading to a more comfortable working experience.
It does not matter where you work from, because you can also include biophilic elements in your home office, such as plants, which helps to improve concentration.
Decorate with Natural Colors and Layouts
The office layout and color scheme also affects the mood and efficiency of the office and depends on the type of work that you do, so do a little research and what would be the best option for your line of work.
Use naturally occurring colors and shapes when decorating your office.
- Use green color to imitate vegetation. Greens help to boost your employees’ morale, motivate them, and improve productivity.
- Use tans, gold, and browns that represent earthly materials. Brown can invoke a feeling of support and stability, feeling down to earth. Yellow and orange hues make us feel energetic and positive.
- Add a few whites and blues to represent the sky, sea, and clouds. Blue and white hues are often calming.
You can adopt new trending office designs, such as flexible and free-range collaborative spaces that are more comfortable and creativity oriented, with personal corners sprinkled around the office for those times when your employees need more focus.
Biophilic Elements Improve Productivity
Today, employees are demanding a better working environment, one that caters to everyone’s needs, and each generation of employees has their own specific idea on good working conditions.
Whatever design or trends you choose to go with, it’s important to keep your office space organized and functional to maximize employee productivity. Regularly check on the condition and whereabouts of your assets, stay vigilant about all safety measures, and make your office space as comfortable for your employees as possible.
To increase productivity, improve concentration levels, and stimulate creativity, consider incorporating biophilic elements in your office with the methods shown above.