3 Ways to Include Biophilic Design in Your Workspace

September 24, 2021 by

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From the sight of foaming waves crashing against a shore to the sound of chattering birds in a forest and the scent of blooming foliage on a sunny day to the feel of grass between our toes, being in nature brings us comfort and calm. On the other hand, sitting cooped up in an office cubicle staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day can make us anxious and depressed. 

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That’s why many organizations, large and small across a wide range of industries, are turning to “biophilic design,” the practice of connecting people and nature within the built environment. This increasingly popular trend is all about incorporating outdoor elements into indoor office spaces to nurture the instinctive bond human beings have with nature and improve the health and wellbeing of employees. The recent “Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace” report, conducted by Human Space, found that workplaces that introduced natural aspects in their interiors witnessed a 6% increase in productivity and 15% higher levels of wellbeing.

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To help you gain from the benefits of this budding design trend, here are three simple ways to make nature a feature in your office.

Grow Indoor Plants

The quickest and easiest way to connect your business’s decor to the outside is by adding pots and planters full of lush, green foliage. Whether you choose to dot them on desks or use them to beautify a reception area, canteen, or break room, plants aren’t just a pretty face — they also have lots of functional benefits. 

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Some studies show that plants may be able to purify the air from harmful pollutants floating around in your office’s air, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, benzene, and some pesticides, as well as mold and dust. They may help keep the atmosphere clean and, in turn, increase concentration levels. Plus, surrounding ourselves with plants can make us feel more comfortable and relaxed, allowing our minds to drift and wander so that we can imagine more exciting and innovative ideas — perfect for coming up with new ways to make business boom.

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Consider selecting flowers and shrubs that don’t require much maintenance, like bamboo, succulents, and peace lilies, that will look their best even if you forget to water them. Lightweight fiberglass planters from Pots, Planters, and More are easy to move but incredibly durable and also available in a wide range of styles, colors, and finishes to suit any interior scheme.

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Let in Natural Light

Bathing your workspace in sunlight is a guaranteed mood booster. Plenty of natural light relaxes facial muscles and reduces eye strain helping subdue feelings of fatigue. Light also keeps our circadian rhythms in check by balancing out serotonin and melatonin levels, hormones linked to sleep quality and happiness. 

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to install skylights and make existing windows bigger. Instead, consider changing the office layout by repositioning desks in a way that maximizes the amount of light around them. Try to swap fluorescent tubes for bulbs that give off a warm white color, and encourage staff to take frequent breaks outside for some fresh air and vitamin D.

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Use Organic Materials

It’s time to ditch plywood desks and gray walls and give your office a clean, fresh appearance. Start by looking out your window to think about how to bring indoors what you see outdoors. Mimic the sky and trees by sourcing furnishings in leafy greens and sky blues.

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Include organic materials like tables made from sustainably sourced wood, use textiles like natural linen, and subtly adopt shapes and patterns commonly associated with nature, such as fabrics with floral motifs or honeycomb-shaped seating pods. Even hanging art or photographs featuring pastoral landscapes can do wonders for an employee’s mental health and send productivity rates soaring. 

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