- CONTACT US
8 Ways to Achieve Natural, Biophilic Design in the Office
A biophilic office design is one that incorporates natural elements to create a work environment that is both stress-free and stimulating. Such a design is not only mental health-friendly but also improves work efficiency. Employees who have a pleasant work environment are less likely to call in sick and more likely to work well with others and do what they can to reach their full potential.
If you're at a loss as to how to bring nature into your office space, consider the ideas outlined below. These can easily be tweaked to suit the needs of any office—based business, in nearly any industry.
1) Bring in the plants
One of the simplest ways to bring nature into your office is to add plants to the environment. However, you can't simply grab the first few you find at a gardening center. Some plants cause allergies, while others require a lot of care and maintenance.
Ferns, bonsai, yuccas, and weeping figs are known allergens and should be avoided. Instead, pick succulents, peace lily, Swedish and English ivy, Areca palm, and golden pathos. These plants don't require much maintenance and, as an added benefit, help keep your air clean and breathable. Check out specialized services for interior plantscaping and plant maintenance available in your area, such as Alphaplantes.
2) Install water features
Water features can be costly and tricky to install, so you probably don't want one in every office cubicle. However, they're a great option for communal spaces, hallways, meeting rooms, and/or waiting rooms. These come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles, so look over your options and pick the ones that best suit your office environment.
3) Let in natural light
Ample natural light will not only create a great work environment but also help you keep energy bills low. Double-glass panels such as Rampart’s moodwall P4 not only let in the sun but also create soundproof areas, so individuals can work without distractions.
4) Increase airflow
Leave as many windows open as possible, as long as the weather isn't too hot or too cold. You may also want to consider bringing in air purifiers to improve air quality by filtering out impurities such as bacteria and allergens.
Sanitize your HVAC ducts and change air filters regularly. Doing so ensures the air coming through your system is clean and free from pollutants. You'll also want to inspect your office furnishings to see if these are releasing harmful chemicals into the air.
5) Use wood
Wood is known to have a calming effect on people; as such, it's an ideal material for any office. Use it for accents, furnishings, and complementary elements whenever possible. If genuine hardwood is too expensive or difficult to work with, engineered wood can be a great option as it looks just like the real thing but is water-resistant. Luxury vinyl tiles that look just like genuine wood are perfect if you need flooring that has a natural look but is low-maintenance and can hold up to extensive wear and tear.
6) Bring in the fractals
Fractals are simply patterns that repeat themselves. These are found in abundance in nature; trees, ocean waves, sand dunes, and cloud formations all contain fractals. Fractals are known to reduce stress, and you can easily bring them into your office in the form of paintings or by installing large windows with a view of the skyline. Check out an example of how you can achieve this here.
7) Allow unimpeded views of large spaces
These large expanses give employees a sense of control while offering an expansive view that will likely include not only work stations but also natural accessories such as water features, large windows, ample natural light, and plants. Rampart specializes in designing these spaces while offering modular architectural wall systems to create attractive, easily configurable workspaces that give teams the privacy they need to stay productive.
8) Create refuge spaces
Every office space should have a "refuge area" to allow employees to quietly contemplate and solve challenging dilemmas, or work in small groups to complete projects. A refuge area can also be used to relax for a few minutes during a busy workday or to change your environment to allow you to regroup or continue focused work.
The large expanses mentioned in no. 7 make good refuge areas, but such spaces don't have to be large. Even small spaces will work if you add natural features and ensure the room gets plenty of natural light.
Rampart offers cutting-edge expertise and products to create a natural ambiance in any office. Get in touch with us at your convenience to learn more about our revolutionary design options or to obtain a free quote.