Incorporating elements of nature in your workday has a ton of benefits such as reducing stress, increasing productivity and boosting creativity. Many employers don’t have access to outside workspaces so they are doing their best to bring nature indoors through biophilic design.
The term biophilic or biophilia suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. For centuries, we’ve designed a majority of our buildings, offices, schools and healthcare facilities without the mentality that nature and humans have this intertwined relationship. Recently, we’re seeing more and more customers ask for elements of this design philosophy to create better work experiences and improve employee wellbeing.
Examples of biophilia design includes:
- Lighting – allowing individuals to keep track of time of day and seasons (ex: large exterior glass windows)
- Plants – provides a direct relationship with nature (ex: green walls, potted plants)
- Color – use of natural colors or “earth-tones” (ex: colors commonly found in nature – brown, green, blue)
- Natural Materials – (ex: wood, stone, natural fabrics, furnishings, and leather.
- Fire – adds warmth and color to rooms (ex: fireplace)
4 quick ways to add biophilic design to your office on a budget.
- Add some plants by gifting some to employees or by utilizing a local company to provide and care for plants. On earth day, one year, we provided those who participated in a local clean-up with Forrer colored pots and plants and on Employee Appreciation Day- “Thank you for helping us grow”.
- Paint the walls. Paint is cheap! Adding colors commonly found in nature (green, blue, brown, white) can go a long way.
- Rearrange furniture to expose more natural light for the rest of the office. Having more collaborative areas near windows opposed to having workstations and offices, provides more natural light for everyone to experience. Natural light has tons of health benefits such as boosting vitamin D, warding off seasonal depression and improving your sleep
- Add a patio.If you have the space for a patio or for a few picnic tables, give your employees the opportunity to work and eat outside! No better way to experience the outdoors at work when you have the opportunity to work outdoors.