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Enhancing Workplace Wellbeing with Biophilic Office Design

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The Power of Biophilic Office Design: Transforming Workspaces for the Better

Understanding biophilic design

In today's fast-paced and technology-driven work environments, the concept of biophilic office design is gaining traction as a transformative approach to enhance employee wellbeing and productivity. Biophilia, the innate human connection to nature, can be effectively harnessed to create workspaces that inspire and invigorate, ultimately leading to happier and more engaged employees.

What is biophilic design?

Biophilic design is centred around integrating natural elements and patterns into the built environment to establish a harmonious relationship between people and nature. By bringing elements such as natural light, indoor plants, and eco-friendly materials into office spaces, biophilic design seeks to reconnect employees with the natural world.

Uncovering the science behind biophilia

Research has demonstrated that exposure to nature has a profound impact on employee wellbeing and productivity. Biophilic design elements, such as the presence of plants or natural light, have been shown to reduce stress, improve focus, and boost creativity. This scientific evidence highlights the importance of incorporating biophilic elements in office spaces to optimise employee performance and satisfaction.

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Benefits of biophilic office design

Boosting employee happiness

Biophilic design fosters feelings. When employees are surrounded by nature-inspired design elements, they experience a sense of tranquillity and contentment. Biophilic office design fosters a positive atmosphere that contributes to overall employee happiness, health and wellbeing, and job satisfaction. ‘The Relative Benefits of Green versus Lean office Space’ suggests that investing in biophilic design spaces in the workplace can increase job satisfaction and productivity.

Improving productivity and focus

Nature has a remarkable ability to enhance focus and cognitive function. By incorporating biophilic design elements in the office, employees can experience benefits such as increased concentration and productivity, leading to better work outcomes. In fact, according to the Human Spaces report, those working in environments with natural elements report: 15% higher wellbeing, 6% higher productivity and 15% higher creativity than those without nature.

Reducing stress and burnout

The presence of natural elements in the workplace has a calming effect on employees, reducing stress and preventing burnout. Biophilic office design provides a much-needed respite from the hectic pace of modern work life.

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Biophilic office design - The facts

Key biophilic design elements

The three pillars of biophilic design

The Three Pillars of Biophilic Design

Nature in the Space

Natural Analogues

Nature of the Space

What it is:

Direct incorporation of plants, water, animals, and other natural elements

Evokes nature through representational artwork, biomorphic forms & natural materials

Spatial configurations that connect to our evolutionary origins i.e. open savanna-like settings, etc


Has the strongest biophilic impact

Measurable benefits, but less effective than ‘Nature in the space’

While impactful, this pillar is harder to incorporate into design

[source: Planteria]

In modern workplace design the top five elements desirable for a work space, according to the survey respondents, are:

  • Natural light (44%)

  • Indoor plants (20%)

  • Quiet working space (19%)

  • View of the sea (17%)

  • Bright colours (15%)

Harnessing the sunlight

Natural light is a vital element of biophilic design in the workplace. Designing workspaces with ample access to sunlight not only saves energy but also elevates the mood and energy levels of employees.

Green oases

Introducing indoor plants into the office space not only adds aesthetic appeal but also improves air quality. The presence of greenery creates a refreshing and rejuvenating ambiance. Desk plants, large leafy office plants and even green walls can create a natural oasis that brings the outside inside.

Embracing natural materials

Using natural materials such as wood, stone, or bamboo in office furnishings fosters a connection to nature and creates a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Using natural patterns, natural shapes, and organic shapes will also enhance the embodiment of nature in the office design helping building occupants feel close to nature and experiencing the benefits of this. The importance of creating these nature-relationships inside the workplace can help to foster a calm, healthy and productive working environment that benefits employees and employers alike.

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Creating a connection with nature

In today's modern office environments, the daily grind and technological distractions can often leave employees feeling disconnected from the natural world. However, biophilic office design offers a powerful solution to bridge this gap by bringing the soothing essence of nature into the workplace.

Bringing the outside in

Designing office spaces with views to the outdoors brings the beauty of nature inside, providing employees with visual access to greenery and natural landscapes. This design approach goes beyond merely placing desks near windows; it involves creating thoughtfully arranged seating arrangements and communal spaces that allow employees to bask in the beauty of natural vistas.

Work in the wild

Establishing outdoor workspaces or biophilic retreats allows employees to work in open-air settings, promoting creativity and rejuvenation. Outdoor workspaces can take various forms, such as small gardens, terraces, or courtyard meeting areas.

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Infusing technology with nature

Digital nature

Incorporating virtual biophilic elements, such as digital skylights or nature sounds, into modern office spaces enables employees to experience nature even in urban settings. These high-resolution digital displays can project dynamic visuals of blue skies, drifting clouds, and soundscapes such as the gentle rustling of leaves. The result? Employees are provided with a sense of being connected to the outdoors even while indoors.

Virtual escapes

VR and AR applications offer immersive nature experiences, allowing employees to take virtual breaks and escape into the calming realm of nature during work hours. These virtual escapes provide rejuvenating moments, helping employees recharge their energy and return to tasks with a renewed focus and heightened creativity.

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Biophilic design for remote workspaces

Bringing nature home

To create a nature-inspired home office that boosts productivity and wellbeing, add environmental features to increase biophilic elements strategically. Place potted plants around your workspace, position your desk near windows to enjoy natural light, and use nature-themed decor like artwork or serene landscape wallpapers. Incorporate natural textures and materials like wood or stone. The calming presence of nature will enhance creativity, reduce stress, and make remote work more enjoyable and healthier.

Virtual nature retreats

Amid the virtual realm, we find innovative ways to foster well being and camaraderie among remote teams through "virtual nature retreats." Explore immersive team-building activities centred around nature, offering your team a rejuvenating escape from the digital hustle. These virtual experiences cultivate team cohesion and employee satisfaction, creating a strong bond that transcends the virtual boundaries of remote work.

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Embracing the biophilic journey with Area

By incorporating biophilic office design principles, organisations can create a healthy, happy, and productive workplace that nurtures the wellbeing of their employees.

Connecting with nature within the confines of the office environment empowers employees to thrive, leading to a more engaged and motivated workforce. This ultimately benefits both employees and the organisation as a whole.

If you are eager to embrace the wonders of biophilic office design, we are here to help. Our expert team is dedicated to unleashing your workplace's full potential through our comprehensive workplace consultation, design, and fit out services.

Together, we will collaborate closely to bring your vision of a dream office space to life

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