Biophilic Office Design - Invite Nature Back Inside!

Climate change, deforestation in South America, forest fires in Australia, and now a global pandemic. It seems that the relationship between us and the rest of nature is getting worse by the day.Many of us live in cities and can be disconnected from nature. But, we are part of nature and when we realise this it's good not only for us but the planet too!Some of us have already started the journey to a better connection with nature, but we cannot travel alone. Join us in our quest to heal the planet, one small step at a time, towards a goal that is greater than ourselves.

The 9-to-5 grind and our disassociation with nature

Being in tune with nature often consists of going on a weekend trip to the local park or a wildlife sanctuary - escaping our daily routines. But, why wouldn't we bring nature into our offices? After all, it is the place where most of us spend our waking time.

This is where the biophilic design concept comes to save our relationship with nature. Its principles are slowly pouring through modern architectural solutions, and may just be the way of the future. We all should follow the example, and invite nature back into our homes and workplaces!

The green home office

COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected our working lives. According to Gartner HR, 88% of Australian workers had been working remotely in the first month of impact. If you are one of those affected, it is time to remodel your home office. Based on the size of the room you use, your needs, and your budget, you can utilise biophilic design principles to make your space more healthy and pleasant. And yes, biophilic design provides numerous health benefits!

Let's start with the easiest part - just pull apart your curtains! Natural sunlight is a great mood-boosterwhile it also helps you relax your strained eye muscles, reducing the eye fatigue most of us suffer since we are used to constantly staring at electronic screens. And whenever it is possible - open the window. Soak up that fresh air!

But what if you live in a large urban area, and the air outside is of subpar quality? Nature has you covered! Live plants improve air quality, converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, providing you with much-needed food for thought. You will feel happier and healthier - two for the price of one! So head out to your local nursery and invest in some house plants.

And, if you are serious about remodelling the place, be sure to use natural materials. Wood and stone are the most used materials for biophiles, and for a good reason - the natural beauty of wood and stone combination is really hard to match.

Business owner office

Some of you reading this own businesses and you are the ones who provide office space for your workers. Biophilic design is not only easy on the eyes, but it also reduces overall stress, increases productivity, and makes your staff more efficient!There is more to the biophilic design than simply opening the windows and putting a few plants here and there. Anything that evokes the sensation of being outside can help - water fountains, fish tanks, wooden walls, floor, and ceilings. Some businesses even have an office pet! Investments into remodelling the workspace can also go hand in hand with the traditional office design. The important architectural concepts of office space such as acoustical qualities can be easily incorporated into biophilic design. There are a variety of wood wool acoustic panels, that are both functional and environmentally friendly.

When all the concepts of biophilic design are combined correctly, you create a workspace that increases employee performance, health, and wellbeing. The value of creating a workspace that fosters and improves this is a sound economic policy with an amazing return on investment.

Your piece of personality in your place of work

Some of us don't have the luxury to work from home or own a business. We have to settle for a boring old cubicle, devoid of any personality. After all, it is an industry standard - it's the cheapest way of solving the office space problem. But who says you can't add a little charm to your little space?

Bring along your plant friend, and nurture it - it's that easy! But there is more to biophilia than simply adding a plant or two on your desk. Natural colours is another great way of bringing nature inside. Introduce some shades of green, brown, and bursts of colour to a mundane grey palette that will mirror the effect that nature creates - a happy, efficient, and creative environment that you need!

Who knows, maybe you could inspire your coworkers to pay more attention to nature. Careful, you may spark a revolution!

Final thoughts

Biophilic design is taking off as now we now understand that healthier, more sustainable spaces should be an important part of our lives. Having a few plants in your workplace is an investment in health and overall wellbeing!Say no to the stress of traditional concrete and crammed office environments that leave us feeling deprived and depleted. If your workspace is lacking biophilic elements, now is the time to change that - bring in a plant! Invest in your future, and in the future of this planet we all share.

Written by Stacey Shannon

Stacey is a freelance writer living in Minnesota with her cat, and she's passionate about yoga, languages, drinking strong coffee and cats. Find her on Twitter @StaceyShann0n

Image: Shutterstock

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