Biophilic office design, the creation of a natural environment within the workplace, has taken the office interior industry by storm. With a growing number of companies incorporating natural elements into the workplace - biophilic design can be seen everywhere!
So what is Biophilic design?
Biophilia is a scientific field of research that suggests a connection between humans and their natural surroundings.A hypothesis first proposed by American Biologist E.O. Wilson in the 1980's defines biophilia as,'the innate tendency (in human beings) to focus on life and lifelike process."
As humans, we have evolved over time in response to our natural surroundings, adapting to changing climates and developing environments. Despite the migration into more urbanised surroundings we still possess a subconscious impulsion to affiliate ourselves with nature and the larger ecosystem we belong to.
However, over the years we have gradually become disconnected from nature, often being confined within the clinical walls of the workplace, where greenery and even day light is nowhere to be seen. This disconnection has had both a physical and physiological effect on workers, leading to a negative impact on job performance, wellbeing and overall productivity in the workplace.
With 130 million days being lost every year to sickness absence and costing the economy £100 Billion each year – employee health and wellbeing is more of a priority than ever.
So how can Biophilic office design help?
Biophilia can have a positive influence when used in the workplace and has proved effective in lowering staff turnover and sickness rate by significantly reducing both anxiety and stress levels. This is done in a number of ways…
The use of indoor plants in the work place can vastly improve air quality by creating higher levels of oxygen and reducing levels of Co2. This can improve energy levels within the office and as a result improve concentration. As well as the increase in oxygen, indoor plants also have air filtering qualities that remove impurities from the air making the office a much healthier place to be.