Biophilia means “Love of life or living systems”. It elaborates on the theory that human beings have an innate desire to be in touch with nature. As humans we’ve walked grassy plains, through green forests, climbed mountains, swam rivers, been part of nature in every way. Thus, our natural habitat is being close to nature.
How Biophilia is changing the work dynamics
Humans thrived in the earth’s natural landscapes and in doing so, made great discoveries and inventions. But sadly, with the course of time and technological advancement, the industrial age and modern urban living changed all that. People have replaced natural jungles with concrete jungles.
Despite all the changes, humans haven’t forgotten the bond with nature they made through their ancestors thousands of years ago. Our wiring is to feel good once we connected to nature. Go to any good healing and meditation centre and they always make you exercise out in the fresh open air in a garden.
Due to fast paced work lives of people, they spend most of their time indoors. So, they hardly get time to be in touch with nature. Because of this, we have developed high risks in the following problems:
Sick building syndrome
Disruptions in circadian rhythm
Nobody is denying the importance of technological advances because they enhance the productivity of people and save time. Yet, they do not always improve the quality of life. That is where nature comes in. People working inside buildings and offices are out of touch with the green life. It’s just being on the road, then to a concrete structure and then a repeat cycle every day. But somehow, this desire to be within natural landscapes is coming back. People have realised the importance of plants within their modern and urban living spaces.
People are bringing in plants to work too, and including them in the office décor. There’s been extensive research by many scientists who conclude that plants and green life in the office greatly increases productivity.
The trend is picking up because more and more people are becoming environmentally aware. They are not only caring for the environment but also their well being as well. People thought that if we can’t go to natural landscapes, we will make nature come to us. Many companies have started going green, reducing their carbon imprint by applying environmentally friendly methods of doing business. “Green offices” as they call it, are the rage these days. Plus it gives a good impression of a company to others as well.
A biophilic office design incorporates the following key features:
Circadian light design
Presence of greenery all around or placed strategically in visible areas
Comfort by reducing noise
Thermal settings on air conditioning
Presence of water – for example fountains or aquariums
Many office buildings have also started creating rooftop gardens. As well as being visually appealing, they also add a grass strip or grass walls in their offices. Businesses (both large and small) have realised the importance of a good biophilic design. It is the future, for a good and productive working environment.
Bringing nature indoors
Imagine a working environment where you see greenery everywhere and other natural elements. Even though it’s not a walk through a garden or woods, your mind will perceive it as such and will be in a state of ease.
The brain releases chemicals in such scenarios, like Dopamine and serotonin. It release of bad chemicals such as cortisol during stress decreased. This will increase productivity in people and make them healthier.
A study in Norway said that people exposed to plants at work experienced less illnesses. Flu type conditions such as coughing, eye irritation and sore throat as opposed to the people who weren’t exposed to them by 36%. Skin irritation problems are also reduced by 24%.
If the physical benefits weren’t enough, then here are the psychological benefits:
Reduced stress levels
Increased levels of focus and attention
Increased cognitive performance
Decreased pain levels
Reduced mental fatigue
Increased levels of positivity
Incorporating natural design in interior decoration
People are also including nature’s designs in their office interiors and architecture to mimic nature. Hanging pictures of gardens and rivers, as well as floral and leafy patterns on the walls or pillars. A good biophilic architectural design uses nature as its inspiration with designs and patterns reflecting the beauty of natural landscapes.
Another important part of biophilic design in an office space is to use natural lighting. This means using more of sunlight. For this, there should be more windows and glass ceilings if possible. This not only is good for health but also reduces the carbon imprint and reduces electricity wastage.
The need for nature inside natural structures
To balance the harmful threats of that unnatural construction brings, it’s imperative to use plants inside. In the olden days, natural elements like stone, wood, brick and mortar made building structures. But buildings of today are made with unnatural materials. They also include toxic things such as PVC pipes, insulations, lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and plastics which harm air quality.
With plants in the office, there is fresh oxygen release everyday in the atmosphere to balance out the dangerous elements in the air.
As we all continue to adapt to the ever changing world and evolve, we should always ensure that we are in touch with nature. We should make nature part of our lifestyle whether it’s at home or at the office.
If you want your office or company workspace to have a great biophilic design, then have a look at our services and contact us. We would be happy to serve you in our best capacity.