The biophilic design in the office isn’t just about adding plants to the workplace like many people seem to think. It’s about using different aspects of nature to create a more relaxed environment, reduce stress, and boost creativity and productivity. A lot of research has been done concerning how the biophilic design influences human behavior, and theorists and research scientists seem to agree that this is one of the best things that could happen to the office. Here are five ways how that’s possible.
1. Use the sounds of nature
The sounds of nature can’t be forgotten in your biophilic design. You need to find a way to introduce the most relaxing sounds of nature to the premises. One idea is to have a surround sound system which will play these sounds.
A day in the office should be like a walk through the forest. From the soft woosh of the wind to the soothing chirps of birds, nothing can be missed.
2. Improve your ventilation
Fresh air is something we seem not to have in offices these days. Almost every office you walk into is stuffy and doesn’t have good air flow. This simply isn’t acceptable in biophilic design. You’ll need to make sure that there’s good airflow in the whole building.
The best way to do this is to invest in your ventilation system. Make improvements in places when you can, and suddenly the workers will be able to breathe freely. The laid-back attitude air brings with it is a gateway to more productivity, too.
3. Start a garden
An indoor garden is cute, but an indoor office garden is adorable. Being surrounded by live plants makes for more clean oxygen in the office and improves cognitive function. Having a garden is more than just looking at the plants and reaping the benefits of clean air, though. It gives employees a chance to take care of nature firsthand.
It also works towards building a community, as the workers will have something in common. They can be the most different people in the world, but with a garden, they’ll always have something to talk about. This way, they’re building a connection with nature, but also with each other.
4. Maintain the visual connection
A visual connection with nature is necessary if you aim to create a proper biophilic design. Thus, most offices will have big windows today. This way, your employees don’t feel like they’re boxed in all day and have a nice view throughout the whole day. They get enough vitamin D, as well. The trouble with this is that the sun can often be harsh on the eyes or make the office too hot. Blinds and curtains are out of the question because then the visual connection is broken. So what do you do? You hire experienced shade experts who will be able to give you both the shade and the connection with nature you need. Colored roller shades, for example, are a perfect way to reduce employee stress. You’ll cut the glare but get to keep the benefits. This is most evident in behavioral institutions where patients were less likely to vandalize shaded windows due to increased feelings of calm and serenity.
5. Add a water feature
There’s nothing more soothing than the sound of water. None of us can resist the enticing calm which settles over us with the sound of water. A water feature should definitely make its way into the office, then. As well as the mentioned benefit, it will also make the place look more elegant and refreshing.
Indoor fountains are very convenient in this respect, as they don’t take up a lot of space, but give your employees what they need. There’s nothing better than working with the purest sound of nature in the background.
It takes a lot of thought, planning, and effort to pan out a proper biophilic design. Your office will soon benefit from all this design has to offer, but you’ll need to look at every detail carefully if you aim to succeed. As the world continues to urbanize and we drift further away from nature, it becomes even more important to use all of its positive effects that we can. We spend half of our days in an office, so we might as well reap the benefits.