Tuesday 10th April 2018

Workplace stress levels are at an all-time high, and thanks to the pressure of presenteeism, we’re spending more time than ever at our desks. When we’re physically in the office for longer than we might need to be, we’re missing out on precious outdoor time – time to connect with nature, breathe in fresh air and enjoy the extremely necessary benefits of some vitamin D on our skin.

This is where biophilic design comes in

A top workplace trend for 2018 (and no doubt beyond), biophilic design is a concept derived from biophilia, which means a love of living things. As humans, biophilic design gives us the opportunity to connect with nature via our man-made surroundings – something that can be extremely positive for our overall wellbeing.

When you bring the notion of biophilic design into the workplace specifically, you’re looking for ways, both big and small, to fuse natural materials and elements of nature into a fully-functioning office.

This can be as simple as

  • greenery
  • plants
  • fresh flowers

or a more intricate approach involving the architecture of the office, think

  • natural light sources
  • outdoor areas
  • access to larger plants and trees

According to Oliver Health Design at a WORKTECH Madrid event , it can be extremely easy and simple to implement biophilic design elements into your workspace.

Consider using natural materials – bare wood is better than standard painted plywood that is often used in offices. Greenery is easy to implement, particularly since house plants are experiencing a boom in popularity; remember to check the environmental conditions a plant or other greenery needs to thrive! You can also create energising and stimulating spaces with access to natural light, and this doesn’t have to mean a complete office re-design – think about moving casual meeting areas closer to windows, and don’t forget to take note of which direction each window faces; this way, you can take advantage of the natural rhythm of the sunlight.

When it comes to the big picture of biophilic design, it should be either functional or happiness-inducing, but preferably both. You can start small and make effortless changes to your workspace, either on an individual or overall basis. Studies show that biophilic design can help improve employee mood, and can boost productivity levels, so when it’s this easy to introduce, there really is no excuse not to connect with nature.

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