Biophilic design is a famous term popularized by biologist Edward O. Wilson. According to him, it means establishing a deep relationship between man and nature. The design aims to connect our intrinsic need to connect with nature. All organisms exist in integrated, interconnected environments as ecosystems. A widely held theory of biophilic design recognizes that our species has evolved in an adaptive response to embodied nature for more than 99% of its history. Studies have shown that workers in workplaces without vegetation are more anxious and even feel tired and bored. Plants and natural elements can increase worker well-being and productivity by 15%. Biophilically designed workplaces tend to improve the overall well-being of employees. Human beings are biologically more used to natural than to artificial processes. With the increasing environmental crisis, it is vital to stay healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually by enjoying the elements of nature.

The Role of Biophilic Design in Enhancing Workplace Productivity and Wellbeing - Sheet1
Biophilic design _©vantage fit

Importance

A biophilic design masquerades as nature, helping to preserve creativity and happiness and encouraging a positive attitude in the workplace. Employees have hectic work schedules throughout the day and need help to focus on the tasks at hand when their minds are clogged. It is also important to empower the workforce through the manifestation of a very magnetic aura. When employees spend most of their time in the office, it gets boring. There is no novelty or elegance. When a new day begins, everyone returns with hope and excitement. According to academics, jobs are very important because they influence one’s psychology. You may have noticed that most companies focus on health programs that include yoga, meditation, healthy eating, and more. But biophilic designs have different outcomes depending on the design elements. Some are designed to reduce stress, while others increase creativity and confidence. There are office designs that help increase employee performance, attention, and more. Even in hospitals, guests prefer rooms with natural elements and a view of the indoor flora and plants. By introducing biophilic designs, you can implement the principles of biophilia in the lives of your employees. This significantly improves your well-being.

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Biophilic Design bringing nature in the workplace _© Studio AsA

Benefits

Biophilic elements in an office can improve the physical health of employees did you know that the air quality can be significantly improved by greening the office? Research from the Norwegian University of Agriculture in Oslo found that plants remove harmful volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde and benzene found in paint, carpets, and furniture in most buildings. Plants are said to improve air quality by up to 75%. These harmful compounds can make workers ill because breathing dry air can irritate the delicate membranes in the nose and throat, making workers more vulnerable to contracting viruses and allergens. Spending some time outdoors is critical to our mental health. The problem is that with a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. office job, it can be difficult to find time outdoors, especially on dark winter days. Luckily, there is a way around this by bringing the outside world inside. Incorporating plants into the workspace causes employees to reconnect with nature and has been shown to reduce feelings of stress, according to many studies, including one from Harvard. Having green spaces and incorporating nature into everyday life can reduce anger and give people peace of mind as they have something to look at that reminds them of nature and helps reduce the feeling of being stuck indoors. A study has shown that the presence of plants in offices can reduce stress and anxiety levels by up to 37% and fatigue by up to 38%. Reducing stress and anxiety is beneficial to any business because it increases employee productivity, which leads to happier employees and greater business success. By introducing natural elements in the office, such as an indoor water feature, plants, or wooden furniture, people can gain access to natural light and a beautiful view, which also helps create a more positive and harmonious work environment. Biophilic items increase creativity and productivity in the workplace mentioned above, a series of studies from the University of Exeter found that employees were 15% more productive when the workspace was filled with just a few houseplants. This is because biophilic design can improve key cognitive functions and encourage creative and innovative thinking in workers. A Human Spaces research report on the global impact of biophilic workplace interface design showed that productivity and creativity increased by 6% and 15%, respectively. No wonder this is the case, as nature is known for stimulating the brain and unleashing creativity. Nature can also create a positive and peaceful mindset when designing an office, leading to more interactions in the workplace among colleagues and encouraging both collaboration and innovation. As open workspaces become the most common office design, there is a risk that they will appear too plain and sterile without enough visual elements to help inspire. Working in a visually stimulating environment with plants and plenty of natural light helps employees feel more productive, less tired and encourages creativity. This means employees are far more likely to want to enter the office knowing they are surrounded by a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment that inspires them rather than causing feelings of stress, anxiety, and boredom.4. Biophilic elements attract talent and enhance the company’s image through aesthetics. Nature not only has a positive impact on the health and well-being, and productivity of employees, but it is also important to remember that it also makes the office look much more attractive than a simple, natural light with no light and does not have a natural Light—aesthetically pleasing vegetation. A thoughtfully designed workspace with lots of natural light and greenery not only looks good on current employees and draws them into the office, but it will also attract new talent and make them want to work for you. The biophilic elements enable potential new talent to see that the company cares about the health and well-being of its employees, which translates into an improved corporate image. An improved corporate image can even attract new talent to work for you and not another company with a more tired-looking, boring office with no biophilic elements to improve job prospects.

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Elevating workplace design with biophilic influences _©The Times of India

Refernces: 

4 benefits of biophilic design in the Office (2022) Haiken. Available at: https://www.haiken.com/insights/4-benefits-of-biophilic-design-in-the-office (Accessed: 31 July 2023). 

Circle, V. (2022) Enhancing employee wellbeing with a biophilic design, Vantage Fit – A Complete Solution To Your Corporate Wellness Program. Available at: https://www.vantagefit.io/blog/biophilic-design/#:~:text=Importance%20Of%20Biophilic%20Design%20At,if%20their%20minds%20are%20clogged. (Accessed: 31 July 2023).