Introducing outdoor elements into an office environment can be very beneficial. In the modern climate-controlled workplace where recycled air and fluorescent lighting are standard, a bit of sunshine and greenery can go a long way toward creating a positive impact.
Biophilic design, a decades-old architectural and interior design philosophy, incorporates natural elements in interior spaces to create an experience that produces a wide range of significant human benefits. Biophilic design has caught attention in recent years and can be seen in homes, hospitals, hotels, schools, stores, offices and factories. Designers and architects are incorporating natural elements into their interior spaces to provide more than just aesthetic appeal. Bringing a bit of the outdoors into a workplace offers a host of benefits for the health and well-being of employees as well as the bottom line.
Introducing foliage via potted plants and trees and greenery walls of vegetation or moss is one way to bring the outdoors inside. Vibrant greenery enhances a space by making it visually pleasing and exuding a feeling of tranquillity. Indoor vegetation can be an effective, low-cost way to foster a relaxing atmosphere, help reduce background noise and increase mindfulness. Additional benefits include boosting employee satisfaction and morale and increasing productivity. Plants can also help absorb harmful pollutants and improve air quality in a sterile office environment. Encourage employees to keep potted plants at their workstations to multiply the impact.
However, there is much more to biophilia than scattering a few plants around a room. Live greenery isn’t the only way to integrate nature into the workplace. Authentic and effective biophilic design involves building materials, ventilation, lighting, shapes, sounds, and forging subtle connections between the physical space and our perceptions. Natural materials such as wood, stone, granite and water can help bring the outdoors in. These materials can be incorporated as floor, wall, furniture finishes or water features such as fountains and waterfalls.
A trickling water feature in a common area can bring a sense of calm to your entire office, elevate the mood of employees and boost productivity. Increase natural light by replacing opaque partitions with glass ones that allow the sunlight to filter through, creating a bright and inviting space. Any of these small changes can create a significant, positive effect on stress levels and well-being.
Bringing natural elements into the workplace can significantly benefit employees and the bottom line. Here are two infographics that show how you can usher the outdoors into the office and why it is important.
Infographic created by Midwest Tropical
Biophilic Design from Accurate Perforating Company.
Author bio: Michael Burnett is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Midwest Tropical. Midwest Tropical creates indoor waterfalls, water walls, bubble walls, fountains, rain curtains and other water features in its advanced design and manufacturing facility near Chicago, Illinois — allowing for complete customization to design and build the highest-quality water features in the world.