We spend so much of our time at work, so it is no surprise that we want our office environment to be attractive and appealing, more than just four clinical walls and a plain desk. The place where we work needs to not only be safe and clean, but somewhere we feel comfortable and at ease, a space where we can reflect and be more creative.
This is one of the reasons that, when decorating their workspaces, businesses are turning to the ‘Biophilia Hypothesis’ – the theory that humans have an innate affinity with nature, and are happiest and most productive when surrounded by natural elements.
However, biophilic design is about so much more than just introducing a plant or two in the corners of the room. As our recent Human Spaces Report into the impact of the work environment on employee well-being shows, European workers value the peace and quiet, the textures, sights and colors of the natural world, as well. Employers need to take these desires into account to ensure that their entire workspace delivers an environment that fosters creativity and productivity, not just a small section of it.
There are many ways businesses can incorporate the principles of biophilia into their overall workspace design. A good place to start is with the walls and floor. Soft, textured furnishings can not only help to control noise, they can mimic the sensations experienced in the outdoors, helping to take the edge off manmade surfaces and enabling team members to reconnect with nature.
Biophilia is about more than just fashion, it is a key design concept that can play a major role in boosting employee performance, as well as supporting their well-being. While its positive impacts for businesses can be far-reaching, it is not difficult to incorporate its principles into any workspace design. With a little creativity and imagination, it is more than possible to develop an office design that helps to bring nature – and all its benefits for human health – indoors.