Bringing teams back to the office with Biophilic Design
Going back to the office is a critical topic for companies in the short term. Just as important will be how we encourage teams to remain in offices for the longer term. Biophilic Design can be an affordable tool companies and building owners utilize to help address some of the realizations many offices are facing - employees want to return to a better work environment than they left.
Biophilic Design = Greater Well Being
Biophilic Design brings the aspects of nature and the natural environment into our built environment. It stems from our biological need to associate with nature. Study after study has shown that bringing the natural environment into a space will promote the physical and mental well being of a person, resulting in a more productive office space and a more desirable place to collaborate and conduct work.
Adding elements of Biophilic Design is easy
There are multiple ways to bring the natural environment in to your work space - from cramped, little offices to more spacious office layouts:
Utilizing Natural Light - Share access to windows to all team members, or as many as possible. Set up shared spaces to collaborate or work directly under or near a window.
Adding Living Green - Green walls. An abundance of live plants. Views of parks and fields of green. Continuously flowing water features.
New Technology in Artificial Light - Include adaptive lighting options that adjust the light color temperature based on the circadian rhythm of our internal clocks. This is particularly uplifting in winter when working after it has turned dark is more common.
Colors and Materials inspired by Nature - Using colors that are organically found in nature - not just the browns that match natural woods or the greens that match trees; also consider yellows, muted purples and blues that reflect colors found on wild flowers. Incorporating materials like stone and wood and allowing the materials to patina with time.
Geometries - Duplicating naturally occurring shapes, comfortable mobility and breezy circulation patterns throughout the office gives an elegant association to the outdoor environment.
Intuitive, Thoughtful and Affordable Biophilic Design
Biophilic Design is most successful when visible to larger numbers of people for larger amounts of time. We fully condone plants in a space - but the occasional fern will only provide a small lift to those that pass it by. It takes deliberate effort to achieve the greater well being that employees are asking for, and is likely more affordable than you think with smart, well-planned architecture.