Studies have shown that plants and natural elements in the office increase employee productivity and well-being. There has been an increasing trend in office interior design of bringing the outdoors, indoors into the workplace. Known as ‘biophilic’ design, it’s about connecting people with the natural environment to improve many of the spaces in which we live and work in today’s built up world.
Biophilic office design appeals to our innate need to connect with nature. Although we spend an estimated 80% of time indoors, we crave the liveliness and revitalisation that happens when we’re outdoors. Biophilia in office design has become an increasing focus for interior designers, and this is due to a shift towards urban living. This has seen modern buildings become more sterile in design, and no longer incorporate as many elements of nature as before; such as natural daylight being replaced by artificial lighting.
There are many benefits for including plants and natural materials within an office space. Research shows that plants at work make you happier and more productive. People who work in offices with living plants tend to collaborate more easily, enjoy higher levels of memory retention and remain more engaged while working. Studies have also shown that people instinctively feel more relaxed and calm around greenery.
Concepts such as ‘green walls’ have been developed in order to maximise biophilic benefits as well as creating living works of art. Green walls are often made up of plants that can absorb pollutants from the air. They can increase oxygen and airflow, making the immediate surroundings feel fresher and more breathable. Plants in the workplace can also change a room's acoustics by reducing reverberation time. Plants can help dampen noise because the leaves reflect and absorb acoustic energy.
What’s more, indoor plant life can help to save energy during the summer months. Plants cool their surrounding environment slightly and with each additional plant, this increases. Therefore, a green wall made up of hundreds of plants can actually reduce the temperature of a room.
Moss wall installations are a type of green wall that require far less ongoing attention than other living walls meaning reduced maintenance costs. Unlike other plants that must have suitable environmental conditions and regular care by a professional horticulturist, moss walls retain their natural appearance and colour year over year.
Another benefit of moss walls is that they can be placed just about anywhere - from the main focal point of your reception area to the bathrooms and even the ceiling!
Finally, nature can be brought into the office by utilising natural materials, such as wood, stone, granite, cork, and marble in the design. Each of these materials can be incorporated as finishes on the likes of pillars, shelving, cupboards and desks and other wooden furnishings. These mimic the textures of the outdoors, which can evoke and enhance the feeling of being closer to nature. Reclaimed wood floors, layered stone hallways or entrances, and water features are examples of how to introduce natural materials into your existing layout.
If you are looking to integrate biophilia into your new office design, we can help. From living walls through to pot plant arrangements or reclaimed timber floorboards we can provide a design and installation solution.
If you are interested in any of our suggestions we would be happy to hear from you to give you more information, so please feel free to contact us.back to blog.