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A Green Office: Benefits of Biophilic Design at Work

What does your office look like right now? If it involves piles of laundry, a pet, or a free-range child, you’re not alone. Many of us are looking forward to going back to the office when it is safe to do so. While we are working from home, it’s a perfect time to envision what defines the ideal office environment. According to GreenPlantsForGreenBuildings.com, the productive office includes biophilic design or bringing the outside inside. 

According to their recent survey, 63% of workers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) work in a city or town. When workers move into city centers, they often find themselves in less than ideal working environments that limit their exposure to sunlight and greenery. 

In fact, according to the same survey, 42% of workers have no access to natural light. This simple omission can cost employers when it comes to productivity. According to an article in Boss Magazine,  natural light can significantly impact mood.  Sunlight stimulates the hypothalamus or the mood center of the brain, so introducing natural light into the office can be a huge morale booster. With happier employees, productivity rises. 

If sunlight is often missing from the workplace, plants are even more scarce. The report states that 55% of the workers don’t have access to greenery of any kind. The many benefits of plants in the workplace are well documented, including detoxification of the air and increased mental health due to decreased stress. Productivity increases by 8% on average, and psychological well-being increases by 13%. 

When designing a working space to foster creativity and productivity, this survey of EMEA countries reveals some interesting findings. Nearly all the countries surveyed cited indoor plants and natural light as sources of productivity, creativity, and happiness. Specifically, views of nature and the use of green space both inside and out were sources of happiness for nearly all the countries surveyed. 

Beyond plant life and natural views, bright colors and natural materials, such as wood and stone, fostered creativity and productivity. Blue, orange, yellow, purple, green, and white were all cited as inspiring colors, depending on the individual country polled. Water was also a popular element in successful designs. 

When workers choose a company to align with, they are committing a considerable portion of their life to their office environment. Incorporating nature and plant life in that environment is a show of support from the moment they step into the office. By incorporating biophilic elements into the interior design, companies are investing in their workforce happiness, as well as boosting productivity. Employee retention is a constant challenge for most companies. Creating a nurturing environment is one method of enhancing the company culture in a silent but potent way. 

If you are interested in exploring new ways to incorporate plants into your office environment, we would love to chat. Our field experts would love to bring a natural touch to your office environment. Drop us a line, and we will be in touch! 

 

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