Years of research has shown what many of us know anecdotally – that plants and natural environments can have a very positive impact on our mood and feeling of wellbeing.
Some studies even show that productivity, concentration and memory are improved in workplaces that incorporate plants and greenery. This is considered at least partially due to increased oxygen levels and the way in which plants absorb pollutants – in turn improving air quality.
Bringing the outdoors into the workplace is known as “biophilic design”, and more and more office fit-out companies are using it.
But it’s not just about buying a few indoor plants and placing them round the office. Biophilic design incorporates factors like natural light, workspace design, relaxation zones, and use of natural materials and colours.
Biophilic office design ideas
There are many ways to bring the outdoors into a workplace.
Here are some ideas:
- Colour schemes that reflect nature – such as blues, whites and brown tones with green, red or yellow accents.
- Plenty of natural light. This could involve the use of flexible glass partitions as an alternative to walled-in offices. Switchable glass partitions can also change to opaque when greater privacy is needed, without blocking out the light.
- Natural materials – e.g. natural-looking timber or recycled materials for shelving and furniture.
- Internal green walls or facades. Many businesses and government organisations are discovering the benefits of internal green walls – such as lower cooling costs and better staff productivity, health and retention.
- Outdoor relaxation green spaces and gardens where your people can chill out and socialise during their breaks.
- Windows that look out onto gardens.
- Incorporating relaxation zones. Your wider plan may also need to include taking a more flexible approach to office design. This could include creating different spaces for different functions – such as some for privacy and quiet work, and others for co-working, teamwork and relaxation.
If you would like to know more about biophilic design and how to incorporate it into your commercial office fit out, get in touch with our team for a discussion.