Biophilic Design in Offices Improve Employee Productivity and Well-Being
Obesity, heart ailments, back problems, and perennial fatigue are extremely common in white-collar workers. But, have you ever thought that by cutting out nature from your life, you’re actually running increased risks of contacting these diseases? Probably not.
Heightened cortisol levels in human blood can lead to many of these problems. Some studies have already shown that workers today spend almost 90% of their time indoors on an average workday.Limited or little access to natural light, fresh air, green surroundings, and natural sounds are pushing employees into the jaws of depression, diabetes, and other chronic problems.
Of course, it goes without saying that poor health and inability to concentrate can affect employee productivity and overall quality of work. This can directly impact the top-line profit for companies.So, what can employers do to motivate their workforce? The next section talks about biophilia and its many positive effects on health.
Biophilic design – How it can play a role in employee welfare
It is a well-known and often-cited fact that human beings have an intrinsic need to stay connected with nature. Just as a fish feels restless when taken out of water, a human being feels out of sorts when removed far from nature. Increased urbanisation has led to further problems. City homes and offices hardly use natural elements indoors.
The benefits of bio-mimicry, however, on human health and well-being are not unknown. Therefore,many employers have started to connect the indoors of their office buildings with the natural world. Grass-covered or moss-covered walls, water features that reproduce the soothing sound of uninterrupted water flow, creepers and small plants placed next to employee workspaces, glass panels and skylights that invite natural light indoors – there are no dearth of options.
Are there tangible benefits of biophilia on human health and wellness? Most definitely. Here are some unquestionable advantages:
Increased levels of concentration: The need to deliver on tight deadlines and prove one’s worth to managers, teammates, and peers often create tremendous pressure on employees. Work-related stress leads to loss of focus and satisfaction. This is a common problem among many, including the most skilled and disciplined workers. Grasses, shrubs, and large plants produce oxygen, which can reduce stress and help employees focus better.
Boost in creativity and cognitive functions: Drab indoors can often restrict the flow of creative juices. While this can affect the quality of work produced by any worker, it can be particularly frustrating for creative thinkers. By allowing natural light to flow in unhindered or installing biomorphic artwork, companies can certainly create an environment conducive for creative and logical thinking. Finding the right balance between colours or incorporating natural sounds in an enclosed space can help, too. Use of natural materials, like wood and stones, have also been seen to boost creative thinking.
Lower attrition: You would think that pay packages, perks, and opportunity to get promoted are the most important considerations in a job, wouldn’t you? But, if some surveys are to be believed, there are other factors that may well be more important. Staff well-being and happiness, for example, can determine the attrition levels in an organisation. Since staff well-being is directly correlated with the working environment and conditions, biophilic design can actually help retain talent. People who get to work in open spaces on office campuses or sensitively designed indoor spaces, are usually known to be happier, healthier, and more productive.
Improved sleep and relief from seasonal depressions: A survey cited by the Harvard Business Review has shown that many employees desire visual contact with the outdoors and access to sunlight. It motivates them to work harder. Studies have shown that light and warmth from the sun can prevent cyclical mood swings. It also stabilises the sleeping patterns in people, helping them stay fresh and lively. Furthermore, proper exposure to natural light can reduce drowsiness and eye strain.
There are many other benefits. To experience biophilia first-hand, visit a Total Environment site in Whitefield today.
Biophilic design is effective only in the right setting
Biophilic design is not just about planting trees in an unplanned manner. It requires a close examination of the space, the transition points between the indoor and outdoor spaces, and the available natural conditions.
To effectively embrace nature in closed spaces, you’ll have to do the following:
- Find a way to bring in ample sunlight.
- Find the best entry points for air to flow in.
- Try to establish a direct visual connection between the indoors and the outdoors.
- Find the right blend of tactile, olfactory, auditory, and thermal elements within the chosen space. The higher the degree of resemblance to the outside spaces, the more efficient will the design be in promoting employee well-being.
Although biophilic design is heavily influenced by technology, it is not an exact science. It is, in fact, an art that has been perfected over many years. A Total Environment home is an ideal example of this concept. Come down for a quick tour of any Total Environment property today. Words can’t adequately express the excitement that you would feel when you see biophilic design for the first time.
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