Creating a Healthy Workspace with Biophilic Design

28 April 2020

Creating a Healthy Workspace with Biophilic Design

Health and wellness take centre stage in the modern-day. As a result, Biophilic design has become popular. Biophilic design, by definition, is connecting the inside of a space with the natural environment by incorporating plants and greenery into the design.

Not only does the incorporation of greenery in the office create a nice environment, but it also promotes a healthy workplace.

4 Health Benefits of Having Greenery in The Office

A green workplace setting has health and environmental advantages. This, in turn, presents economic benefits. And the best part of all – it comes with few downfalls.

Here are some of the ways adding greenery to the workplace can improve the health of your staff and customers.

#1 Purified Air

Introducing plants into your office space provides cleaner air for staff and customers. 1 plant for every 3 employees in your office is enough to make an impact on the quality of the air.

Plants not only reduce the CO2 in the air that we breathe, but they also decrease the amount of mould, dust and bacteria in the air, that we would otherwise inhale. Office spaces create a lot of man-made toxins due to the heavy use of paint, plastics and cleaning products. Plants can reduce the effects of these toxins.

Creating a Healthy Workspace with Biophilic Design

#2 Reduced Stress Levels

Excessive stress takes its toll on our health. And nothing soothes one’s soul more than the peacefulness of nature. So, by bringing nature into the workplace, we can create a similar calming effect.

Many studies have been done surrounding plants in the workplace and stress reduction. And the results speak for themselves. The University of Technology in Sydney conducted a study about this. It looked at the effect of workplace plants on employees. What it revealed was a 37% reduction in anxiety, a 50% decrease in depression, and a 38% drop in tiredness!

Plants are key to reducing stress levels.

#3 Less Ambient Noise

At SOFC Projects, we deal with a lot of commercial fitouts in Sydney. Many business owners that we speak to are unaware of how greenery in the office can reduce ambient noise.

Plants and greenery in your office fitout allow you to decrease ambient noise by up to 5 decibels. This creates a more peaceful environment within your office space. Ambient noise makes it hard for your employees to focus on their work, which drives stress levels up.

Incorporating plants in your office fitout assists in providing your staff with a calm and peaceful environment, where they can concentrate on their work. Stress impacts our mental health significantly, so biophilic design is worth considering for this reason, if any.

#4 Decreased Absenteeism

The work environment plays a significant role in a business’s level of absenteeism.

Placing plants methodically, can also reduce the need for air-con and keep the air’s humidity levels up by 20%. This creates a healthier environment for your staff and customers and in turn, results in fewer illnesses like common colds and coughs. Both of which are major driving factors behind absenteeism in Australia.

Other Benefits of Biophilic Design

It doesn’t end at the health benefits. The advantages of incorporating greenery into your fitout extend beyond the wellness of your staff and customers!

Enhanced Productivity

Plants have such a huge effect on productivity. All you need is 1 plant in line of sight to increase your productivity! By scattering only a few indoor plants around your office, you can boost office productivity by up to 15%.

Plants not only provide lush pops of green into the office. They also offer a pleasing visual experience. This creates healthier and happier staff members, who in turn, produce higher output.

Harvard University carried out an interesting study. It linked green office environments with higher cognitive function.

More Creative Output

Like having a green office increases productivity, it also increases creativity! An office decorated with pot plants and green walls is bound to get those creative juices flowing. And when employees feel calm and comfortable, they are encouraged to shift into a creative processing mode.

The attention restoration theory states that even by looking at a picture of plants, our brain can shift into creative mode.

Benefits of Biophilic Design - Commercial Fitouts Sydney

An Enhanced Space

Plants make a great addition to an office. Not only do they have many health benefits, but they provide an enhanced visual perception and add that natural connection that we thrive on. For these reasons, making use of Biophilic design not only promotes a positive and progressive brand image, but attracts employees as well as customers.

Real or Fake?

These days, it is hard to visually tell the real and fake plants apart. The quality of the artificial plants available is high and there are very life-like options available too. Additionally, artificial plants are also maintenance-free, bar the odd spot of dusting.

So why would you even consider live indoor plants? For the health benefits! Live greenery in the office improves the health of our staff and customers. This is one of its main features and reasons for being featured in so many modern commercial spaces.

Whilst fake foliage looks the part, it cannot clean the air or increase the humidity to a healthy level. When choosing real or fake plants for your office fitout, it’s important to decide on the role of the plants first. If health and wellness are high up on your priority list, real plants are a must.

In Conclusion

Plants do need water and care. But the time it takes to care for them is way outweighed by the benefits they provide.

Biophilic design comes with major health benefits, from cleaning the air to reducing stress. Incorporating greenery is also a great way to create a comfortable and welcoming office. A workplace that hosts productive staff and happy customers!

If the health and wellness of your workplace is a priority, it’s a good idea to consider a biophilic office fitout. Get in touch with one of our commercial fitout experts who can talk you through it!

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