Continuing our series of guest blogs by speakers and supporters of our up-coming Workplace Trends Autumn Conference in London: People, Place, Performance, Vantage Spaces write about biophilia, health, wellbeing = business efficiency.
We know that the simplest things make a real difference. Walking into work to the smell of freshly ground coffee. Connecting with nature through green walls and plants.
Biophilia is described as ‘an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world’ and means “love of life” from bio- + -philia. There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that by incorporating simple changes into our working environments, we can increase our health and wellbeing which in turn impacts business efficiency.
Biophilic design recognises that we are unconsciously connected to nature and that this connection within the spaces that we live and work in can positively influence our physical and psychological health.
This biophilic principle is one of the most flexible aspects when it comes to design. Typically, colours that occur naturally (especially green) are used in conjunction with materials such as cork or distressed wood.
Simply adding a touch of greenery with something as small as indoor plants can have major positive benefits for employees, enabling them to feel more in tune with nature and making their day simply better.
There is a variety of ways to incorporate greenery into the workplace in addition to floor standing or table top solutions. Living or replica walls, moss walls, hanging plants, wall art and planter tops are now a staple in the modern office due to wellbeing becoming such an important factor for employees. In fact, Human Spaces study The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace (2015) reports that plants are the second most wanted element in the workplace.
Creating a more natural environment in your office is said to enhance employee performance, including memory retention, reduced staff turnover and deterring stress related illness. Being able to enjoy natures beauty and feel more connected to the outside world can ultimately lead to happier and healthier employees and visitors alike.
Another way to ensure natural wellbeing is by encouraging employees to stay hydrated throughout the day. A reduction in dehydration levels of as little as 2% of body weight can influence mood, leading to greater feelings of fatigue and reduced levels of alertness1. Investing in a water cooler for your employees can serve as a reminder to keep hydrated while also preventing the need to purchase bottled water.
The workplace today is constantly evolving, and the moral views and wellbeing requirements of the modern worker are changing with it. Employers are having to keep up with the demand for the changing office but these ‘simply better’ and easy to implement changes will add instant results into your place of work.
1 Masento NA et al. Effects of hydration status on cognitive performance and mood. Br J Nutr 111(10):1841-52