By Penketh Group Insights Team
22nd January 2019
Biophilic design (or biophilia, or biomimicry) is the inclusion of natural elements within an interior design scheme. It taps into the innate human connection to nature and its ability to boost things like productivity, physical health and mental wellbeing.
Biophilic design includes:
- Indoor office plants
- Live walls
- Organic fabrics and materials e.g. wood, stone, marble, wool
- Indoor water features
- Natural colour palette (neutrals, greens, browns, greys)
- Plenty of natural light
Here’s how incorporating these natural elements within commercial interior design can contribute towards the attraction and retention of great staff…
Improved work-life balance
Research recently distributed by Europe’s largest merchant services provider, Payment Sense revealed that:
- 28% of workers work more than 40 hours a week (close to HMRC’s limit of 48 hours)
- 64% of office workers stay behind to work late at least twice a month
- Nearly 50% of office workers work late on a weekly basis
What these kinds of statistics prove is that personal and professional lives are becoming increasingly interconnected and that striking a healthy work-life balance is becoming ever more important.
59% agree that work impacts their day-to-day lives
Seeing as we are now spending a growing amount of time at work and our working environment has such a proven effect on our wellbeing, it’s vital to take this into consideration during office fit out, design or refurbishment.
Introducing natural elements is an effective way to introduce merge the great outdoors with office life. Staff don’t have to wait until the weekend to feel the many benefits of natural light and being close to nature.
Better physical health and mental wellbeing
The Human Spaces Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace carried out by Interface discovered that 15% of employees in a biophilic working environment had a higher level of wellbeing.
This encapsulates both physical health and mental wellbeing in the following ways:
- Increased natural lighting helps to kill certain bacteria, aid sleep and regulated Vitamin D to fight off common colds and bone problems.
- Raised oxygen levels support muscle and brain function, as well as reducing mental fatigue.
- Natural elements and colour palettes lower blood pressure and therefore stress levels.
More appealing company culture
Offering things like a consideration for work-life balance and staff health will foster a much more attractive company culture which will engage both new and existing employees.
Introducing biophilic interior design features within your workspace will send out the right signals about your brand ethos and have a positive influence on the behaviour of the workforce.
When staff feel that they are valued and considered, they are more motivated, productive and creative. This can be reinforced and encouraged through strategic space-planning which incorporates natural elements.
Improved facilities and job satisfaction
The Human Spaces report also revealed that of those working in environments with biophilic elements…
- 6% proved to be more productive
- 15% felt that they were more creative
Creating a biophilic working environment will therefore improve the way staff are working and the output they are then able to achieve. This will, in turn, nurture better job satisfaction and the retention of new and existing employees within the company.