Human Spaces

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Natural design is the key to employees wellbeing

Having a healthy and happy workforce is pivotal for the running of a successful, productive business. With absenteeism becoming an increasing problem for the UK, it is now more important than ever for employers to keep their fingers on the pulse when it comes to trends and developments that could benefit the general well-being of their staff.

Absenteeism is thought to be costing £29billion a year and the typical employee is estimated to take an average of 2.1 sick days over a three month period. Businesses can benefit both financially and commercially by ensuring they have a positive impact on general employee well-being. The key to this could be introducing more natural elements through biophilic office design.

With nearly two-thirds of European office workers now based in a city, access to nature is becoming increasingly limited and this is having an impact on how motivated, productive and happy staff are.

The Human Spaces report revealed that the most desired features in UK offices are natural light (37 per cent) and a view of the sea (27 per cent), both of which were proven to have a positive impact on well-being. However, two fifths of those asked went on to say that they currently have no access to natural light, 55 per cent do not have access to any greenery and a further 7 per cent have no window at all.

It goes without saying that employers can’t wave a magic want to give their employees a view of the sea. However, it is possible to bring elements of nature into the workplace through the interpretation of design. For example, a view of the countryside can be depicted through the use of textures and colours in decorative planning, carpets and materials.

‘Greener’ offices and the potential for biophilic design are hot topics on the business agenda for 2015, but the question remains, will employers take action and move one step closer to improving well-being, happiness, and ultimately productivity in the workplace or will they fall behind?

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