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Top benefits of biophilic design in the workplace

The correct amount of natural light in a workspace can improve productivity and reduce eye strain | multi comfort

Did you know that introducing nature into buildings – including offices – can have a range of benefits?

British Gypsum recently published an infographic outlining the advantages of biophilic design in the workplace. And for any businesses that want to look after the wellbeing of their team and boost results, it’s definitely worth a look.

Top benefits of biophilic design in the workplace:

Here are just some of the benefits employees and businesses might enjoy if they integrate nature into their office design:

  • Productivity and creativity: Studies show that exposure to nature can improve productivity by 6% and increase creativity by 15%. Employees who are exposed to natural elements while at work also report a 15% high level of overall wellbeing.
  • Airflow: Making the space open with a steady of flow of air can help to improve concentration. A report commissioned by the Building Engineering Services Association found 70% of office workers think poor air quality has a negative impact on their productivity and wellbeing.
  • Light: Exposure to natural light releases hormones and helps to regulate our bodies. Different types of light can also impact how we work. Some studies suggest warm light should be used in intimate settings, such as break rooms, as it creates a sense of comfort and relaxation. Cold light is thought to improve alertness and productivity and reduce fatigue, so could be appropriate for meeting rooms and where employees carry out most of their work.
  • Natural views: Views of nature and plants can help to reduce stress. And we don’t even need to see real life greenery – photos of nature can help to lower our blood pressure and relax us.

How can you introduce biophilic design into the office?

Whether you’re designing an office from scratch or looking at some simple ways to enhance the wellbeing of your team, there are a few different ways you can introduce biophilic design into workplaces.

  • Make the most of your surrounding views with large windows, doors and skylights. Features like glass facades and balconies can also enhance visual access to the outside. If you’re not located in a particularly scenic spot, photographs or art of nature can also be beneficial.
  • Don’t just think about the trees and plants outside, think about flora and fauna you can grow inside too. As well as looking aesthetically pleasing, they help to improve air quality. Find out more about the benefits of harvesting indoor crops in the workplace here.
  • Think about the types, quality and colour of light used throughout the office and in different areas. Changing lights from cold to warm can help employees sleep better at night. Also make sure that there isn’t too much glare to cause discomfort or overheating.
  • Ventilation is vital to help keep people alert, as well as reduce germs and illness. Natural ventilation – for example, opening a window – is one option, but isn’t always possible all year round. Mechanical ventilation is often required to maintain a comfortable environment in offices.
  • Using natural materials – such as wood, stone and natural textiles – is another way to incorporate nature into the workplace. You could also think about design elements inspired by nature too such as leaf motifs and honeycomb-shaped patterns.

Find out more about different office design trends to enhance wellbeing and productivity.

Infographic from British Gypsum's Evidence Space


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Disclaimer: The sole responsibility for any views expressed lies with the author(s). Any opinions shared do not necessarily represent the views of Saint-Gobain.

Paul Campbell
Paul Campbell Head of Product Management
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