Think about the last time you spent time outdoors during a work day. How long ago was it? And for how long? A recent survey of 1,000 office workers found that 48 percent of employees spend less than half an hour outdoors on a workday. Over the course of a 40 hour workweek, that doesn’t add up to a lot of time spent outside.
Biophilic design in buildings has emerged as the latest trend in building design. Biophilia is the principle that humans have an innate connection with nature. Biophilic design brings in elements from the natural world to enhance the experience in our office spaces.
Research shows that biophilic design has positive impacts on psychological well-being. Experiences with natural environments lower feelings of tension, anxiety, anger, fatigue and confusion. Decreasing these feelings relaxes the muscles and reduces stress, improving one’s overall health in the long term. These positive psychological benefits of biophilic design also translate to one’s cognitive performance, especially in the workplace.
Productivity among staff
A space with dull decor, medicore lighting and poor air quality can greatly affect productivity of staff.The absence of warmth or comfort in a work space can lead to absenteeism, lack of engagement and morale, and ultimately affect the bottom line.
Studies have shown that bringing in natural elements to the workplace makes people happier and more engaged in their work. Research by the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied found that feelings of well-being increased in 40 percent building occupants.
Air quality in the office
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is constantly a hot topic among HVAC professionals. Health concerns such as headaches, asthma attacks, respiratory and heart disease can all be linked to poor indoor air quality. Not only do good quality vents improve indoor air quality, the addition of air purifiers and active green walls will too. Both of these additions to the workplace will filter the air, improving productivity and the overall health of office workers.
We’ll look into how to incorporate biophilic design in your building in our next article.