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The Importance of Biophilic Design in Creating Healthy Workplaces

Prachi is a fashion designer and lifestyle blogger who likes to travel.

Biophilic design can be integrated into our homes as well as to our workplace

Biophilic design can be integrated into our homes as well as to our workplace

Biophilic Workspaces Are the Need of The Hour

It is evident that, human beings have an innate bond with nature since ages. Nature plays an important role in almost every aspect of an individual’s life and biophilia refers to the parallel human's characteristic attraction towards nature. In other words, it means ‘’love of nature’’. We all habitually consider that biophilic design mainly interprets to accruing greenery in our surroundings but actually, it is much more complex and elaborate perception. It is an approach that connects people to nature through various elements like natural lighting and ventilation in order to create a creative, prolific, hale and hearty environment.


Biophilic design gives prominence to nature.

Biophilic design gives prominence to nature.

The principle of biophilic design can be integrated into our homes as well as to our workplace. Biophilic office design is a concept which mainly includes creating an enjoyable, pleasurable workplace where staff members or colleagues can experience natural environment, indoors.

With 60-70 percent of the world’s population living in cities and towns; people spend 80 percent of their day; inside detached from nature. Biophilic design gives prominence to natural characteristics which have an inordinate impact on human health and efficiency.

Benefits of Biophilic Workspaces

Biophilic design is an approach to take care of health and wellbeing of everyone in the office through the design strategy of available spaces. Diverse biophilic design elements support different results. Few of the benefits of biophilia to the workers and the organization are-

Aids Release Stress and Improve Mental Well-Being

Stress is the main cause of both mental health disorders and cardiac diseases. According to the World Health Organisation mental health and cardiovascular diseases are probably the two major contributing factors to various ailments globally. In demanding and stressful environments, like a busy office, the mindset is highly engaged mode. Which leads to disruption in our natural balance and eventually, resulting into energy drain, frustration, irritability and mental fatigue. On the contrary, human contact with nature offers a compassionate mindset. This results in reduced stress and petulance with augmented capability to concentrate. Nature strongly occupies the mind with “reflex captivation,” which helps to reinstate attention and focus. It leads to a state of unforced mindfulness that encourages stress reduction and at the same time, stimulates interest and imagination.

Foster Creativity

A study confirms that people with views of natural elements, such as trees, and water have higher levels of workplace wellbeing than those with urban setting views, like buildings. Biophilic design helps people to become calm, discover, adapt and be imaginative. Such factors foster stronger connections and trust in the capacity to revitalize at work. Employees who aggressively involve with the natural surroundings are well-organized and more creative workers.

Feel Happier and Healthier

We spend major time of our day at our workplace, and while we are there, we all want it to be a positive experience. Biophilic fundamentals keeps us in a more positive frame of mind. Clearly, positive people can take better care of themselves, are healthier and always have a positive impression on others. Restored mind and body health leads to happiness.

Attract And Retain the Best Talent

Having a considerately planned, biophilic office, full of natural light and other natural elements conveys an authoritative message about your social ethics and integrity. It clearly signifies that you and your organisation care about your colleagues.

Increased Overall Productivity

Definitely, restored air quality, various options for work settings including outdoor spaces, leads to improved concentration levels, better sense of wellbeing thus, resulting into increased overall productivity.

The Main Ideologies To Integrate Biophilic Design Into Any Office Are-

Access to Natural Light and Air

Allowing natural light and air indoors improves health

Allowing natural light and air indoors improves health

Light and air quality is the major element that has a sturdy impression on our health. Allowing natural light and air indoors is the primary stage in the direction of creating a biophilic office design; as conventional offices or workspaces lack windows or other open spaces. Implementing uncluttered open and spacious workstations or glass walls are few ways to access sunlight easily hence creating the feeling of working in nature.

Include Greenery

Introducing plantation can reduce fatigue

Introducing plantation can reduce fatigue

Think of installing vertical gardens or using planters around the office. Introducing plantation can upsurge oxygen levels. Apart from the low maintenance plants, fake or air-filtering plants are also great options to reduce psychological fatigue.

Proper Use of Available Spaces

A biophilic office has dedicated zones to make work breaks completely refreshing.

A biophilic office has dedicated zones to make work breaks completely refreshing.

A biophilic office has dedicated zones to make work breaks completely refreshing and revitalizing. Creating appropriate seating arrangement on open areas like balconies, roof, garden is a good option. Open areas can also be used as casual conference rooms. Creating more and more open areas for various events is an extraordinary way to upsurge productivity.

Lively and Vibrant Hues

Paint a statement wall in a cheerful and lively colour

Paint a statement wall in a cheerful and lively colour

Bright hues in office décor can be an optimum way to include biophilic design at any workspace. Paint a statement wall in a cheerful and lively colour. Apart from few earthy hues, tints and shades of orange and blue looks inordinate.

Imitation of Nature

Integrate natural-looking outlines and shapes in office

Integrate natural-looking outlines and shapes in office

Where direct access to nature is not conceivable, try and integrate natural-looking outlines, shapes, decoration, landscapes and textures like wood and stone to imitate the outdoors. Due to accessible latest technologies these days; artificial lighting known as Human Centric Lighting can also be used to create the atmosphere comparable to natural light. Carpeting or flooring can also be given that outdoor inspired aura by using an earthy-textured carpets.

Conclusion

These days, various organizations are implementing the concept of biophilic design as employee’s health and mental wellbeing is on priority. Such self-effacing expansions can lead to better sense of wellbeing, improved concentration level, creativity thus, resulting into improved overall productivity and larger staff retention. Undoubtedly, creating biophilic office is a ground-breaking way to implement our mindfulness towards nature. It seems like this innovative concept is not going anywhere anytime soon.

© 2021 Prachi Srivastava

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