A clean workplace and a welcoming reception area are only good for first impressions. Many would agree that there are things in an office that can induce psychological stress to a person. These factors can be subtle, ordinary, and even intangible. The more familiar an environment becomes to a person, the more it becomes associated with stress. It can be akin to creative deprivation and claustrophobia, which affects employee productivity and efficiency.
This is where architectural design and biophilia come in. Combining these two elements creates a refreshing workplace for everyone. It helps workers perceive their job positively, which is especially important as many have grown accustomed to the freedom of work from home arrangements.
The psychological benefits of integrating nature and sustainable designs into the office has proven to be beneficial for everyone, according to numerous studies. One report from Human Spaces says that there is a 15% increase in worker wellbeing, as well as a 6% boost in work productivity within offices that sport biophilic design choices.
Biophilia in the office. Location: Slovenia | Photo: Zare Modic | Source: Human Spaces
Biophilia refers to the human need to connect to nature. It is the natural desire to expose oneself to the outside world. It is also a way for people to improve mental health through the use of relaxing visual elements.
In the corporate world, biophilia is a design choice intended to create a peaceful and serene environment within an office space. According to ecologist Stephen Kellert, people are naturally drawn to nature in a way that caters to the senses. The sight of colorful flowers and clean water is enough to foster passive appreciation because of their simplistic beauty. For this reason, such visuals are commonly utilized within the tourism industry.
An example of a living wall. Hard to maintain, but the effort’s worth it. Photo courtesy of Inleaf.
Biophilic designs can come in the form of spreading potted plants around the office or even having a living wall created for specific areas. A good example of this is the Apple Park, which is a corporate campus in California that incorporates sustainable designs for its 12,000 employees. Its peculiar ring-like design and emphasis on energy efficiency makes it one of the most unique corporate buildings globally. The structure has created a name for itself among startup companies. Many are eager to replicate such designs for the health and enjoyment of their people.
The Apple Park, also known as Apple Corporate Headquarters
But apart from adding vegetation, utilizing sustainable designs alongside biophilic principles is essential in creating general mood improvements at work. Something as simple as usage of natural and artificial lighting can affect productivity and energy usage.
Adding a bit of visual spice is also recommended. This can come in the form of classy furniture or artistic walls and murals. An excellent interior design can provide enough visual variety to help stimulate the mind and provide fresh ideas for both creatives and executives alike.
The Globe Telecom Building utilizes biophilia for some of its offices, according to Spot.ph
Office spaces are where employees spend most of their days. Considering this, it is important that companies ensure a work-conducive environment. After all, everyone wants a fresh start to their day. Employers can take an extra leap and help their people work efficiently by rethinking their workplace designs.