Try a Biophilic office design and reap the benefits

| April 23, 2019

The modern world seems to have pulled us away from the one thing we all love most: nature. No matter how outdoorsy you are, we can all agree that there is something about nature that instills peace and tranquillity. Being stuck in the concrete jungle all the time can lead to an increase in stress and negative emotions. This explains why weekend getaways to the outdoors or at least somewhere closer to nature are so common and popular.

The biggest issue regarding lack of nature the modern men and women face is in their offices. Being cooped up in the building all day does nothing for one’s mental or physical health. To help their employees, offices are looking into a brand new design. The term “biophilic” traditionally refers to the love of nature and living things, but also to the biological and pure connection humans hold with nature.

This design turns the office into a habitat, allowing the employees to be more relaxed and comfortable, as well as to care for something other than their work. Still, the biophilic design is more complicated and sophisticated than just throwing in some plants into the office.

1. Focus on creativity

The main practice and point of the biophilic design is to inspire and encourage creativity. After all, we’re talking about life here. It is the one and true wonder of creation, so the concept which prophecies it must support it. This means that the design of the building is no longer going to be up to just management. The same goes for how the firm is run and the projects.

The employees are the task force of any company. This means they have the hands-on experience and know exactly what needs to be done and what they need to feel elated, energized, and happy. Listening to your employees and introducing aspects of the office they like is how you know you’re on the right track.

Another way to inspire and encourage creativity is with the office garden. Since this design focuses largely on introducing plants to the office, your employees get to take care of something relevant and beautiful. Everyone can have their own ideas on which plants to grow and how to shape the garden.

This is the perfect way to lower stress in the office and give your employees an opportunity to bond. They’ll have something in common, something to talk about, and something to care for together. The magic of life has the power to pull people closer, regardless of how different they may be.

2. The importance of water and air

Other natural elements are extremely important when it comes to the biophilic design. Water and air in particular. Everyone knows that an employee won’t be able to focus unless they have some fresh air and water in the office. Those are just two basic human needs.

This is why most offices today are looking to reorganize their space so as to let as much air in as possible. This means that there will be more open windows, more fans, and overall that more attention will be paid to the basic layout of the office. Of course, it doesn’t mean there will be more AC units, as the focus has to be on the natural ways to better the ventilation system.

As far as the water is concerned, it can be talked about in two respects: drinking water and the sounds of water. Drinking water means that you should ensure that there is always a supply of fresh and clean water for your employees to drink. There’s nothing more rejuvenating than a glass of cold water after you’ve worked hard for a couple of hours. Whether you invest in an eco-friendly water cooler or go for other methods is your choice. Some companies prefer having glass bottles of water infused with mint leaves ready for drinking at all times, for example.

The sounds of water refer to the soft hush a water element can provide. It has the power to calm us down, especially in the wake of a panic or a deadline. This is why your biophilic design should include a water feature. It can be just a small fountain or a decorative birdbath, but it will have the desired effect in bringing your employees state of mind to the optimal Zen levels.

3. A different take on furniture

The furniture of the biophilic design is also important. Logically, the focus will be on natural materials. Of course, it won’t come down to just buying wooden pieces. Everything needs to fit well together. The biggest asset of the biophilic design is the freestanding walls.

They’re usually painted in earthy tones and are made from natural materials. They replace traditional cubicles by giving your office something between the traditional and modern, open spaced, one. You can have an open space office, while also sectioning off important parts. This creates privacy in areas which need them. For example, you can section off a client meeting area or a meeting area.

Some people decide to get extra creative with their biophilic design by mixing in some other design. For example, Scandinavian design is fairly popular. This is because the essence of the Scandinavian and biophilic designs are the same. They both focus on nature and our connection to it.

Another important aspect of the biophilic design is that it goes beyond some of the things the Scandinavian design stands for. It’s turned to nature entirely, including how we interact with it. This is to say that most biophilic furniture will be made from recycled materials. In fact, this is so accepted, that even the wall décor and paint will be eco-friendly.

4. Preserving the environment

The biophilic design helps us recognize and realize that we’re not worth much without nature. In other words, it reminds us we should be kind to it and respect it. This is why there is a huge focus on eco-friendliness here. That can be seen from the example of the furniture mentioned above.

Another aspect of eco-friendliness here is the social responsibility firms feel. We’re all aware that the biggest issue with the environment today is that there aren’t enough individuals can do to make a radical change. The real power is with the businesses.

The biophilic design helps raise awareness for social responsibilities that firms have. It helps show the workforce and management alike that business can be conducted as usual, or even better, even with eco-friendliness being one of the main focuses.

Because of the increasing popularity of the design, it’s becoming more and more available. In other words, more affordable. This shows businesses that investing in such a design isn’t a waste of money. In some cases, it may even prove to be saving them some cash. In any case, the design pays off in the long run, money and environment wise.

5. Incorporating sounds

The visuals of the natural design are easy to get, but what about the sounds? A good biophilic design is eco-friendly and has all the visual components, but a great one is characterized by sounds, as well. It may sound ridiculous to incorporate the sounds of nature into the office, but it’s actually quite beneficial for your workers.

No matter what kind of line of work you’re in, the office is a loud place. This is because there are simply too many different voices talking about different things. If you work with clients, the number of voices just increases. Typing, walking, talking, shuffling, organizing papers, ringing phones- these are al very distracting and borderline stressful sounds.

It’s not natural for an environment to be quiet, though. Putting pressure on everyone to stay quiet may even increase the stress in the office and do more harm than good. Most people opt for conventional music in these cases but that may also backfire since there is no way of knowing what people may like and what might relax them.

That’s why natural sounds are a proven recipe. They relax everyone. From those really anxious ones to workaholics and perfectionists. When employees close their eyes, they’ll be transported into a world o calm and peace. Water dripping, birds chirping, the sound of the winds or any other forest-inspired sounds will do the trick.

6. It’s all in the details

It’s not enough just to have a garden or a few plants around the office. With the biophilic design, it’s all in the details. Each segment of the office should look like the pieces of décor and furniture have an exact purpose. This means that the windows, corners, and desks should be proud to wear some small and cute pot plants.

Though it may seem unnecessary, this is actually the essence of the design. No matter how aware we are of it, the details are what make or break us. Thus, when an employee looks away from their screen, the first thing their eyes will fall onto will be a cute pot plant. This will promote a sense of calm and belonging. It will make them feel like the bond with nature isn’t and can’t be broken.

What’s more, these details tie the place together. They make everything fit like a puzzle piece. We all know how important it is to feel like everything is in order. Too much order and perfection can lead to surplus amounts of pressure and stress, though. This is why it’s good that we’re talking about nature. It is both perfection and chaos, adding just the right amount of order for optimal benefits for mental health.

Potted plants around the office also go far in creating a sense of belonging. If everything has its own place, why shouldn’t the employee? A sense of community is very important in the workplace and can bring the team much closer together.

7. Natural lighting

Natural designs imply more than just a few plants here and there. If you really want to nail your biophilic design, you have to invite nature in, in many ways. One of these ways is to introduce more natural light to the office. Natural light has a special significance in this design.

Most employees are stuck under artificial lights all day long, meaning that they suffer from headaches and that their vision isn’t as good as it used to be. As well as that, the light could take away from their focus. No one feels like working when their vision is kind of blurry and they’ve got a splintering headache.

Big windows are the perfect way to let the sunshine in. When your office is blessed with natural light, your employees prosper. Everything in nature thrives from the energy of the sun. If it weren’t for it, we wouldn’t exist, either. It’s no wonder employees will stand a little taller and smile a little brighter when they’ve been basking in sunlight the whole day.

Natural light can increase energy levels, but also gives your employees the vitamin D they need and deserve. What’s more, there’s a powerful psychological effect behind this. The office doesn’t feel like a box. Instead, it feels vast and freeing. This allows people to relax, work better, focus, and feel like they’re not missing out on much. The worst feeling in the world is stepping out of the office into the dark of the night, knowing you missed a whole beautiful day. Introducing natural light eliminates this feeling completely.


It’s not hard to design your office in this way when you’ve got the right tips. The biophilic design is quickly becoming the favourite of many employees. In fact, people are finding it easier to work long hours and stay focused. As well as that, their concentration and productivity seem to improve. It’s simple. People are creative and interesting beings with many aspects of their personalities. By implementing the biophilic design, you support the innovative and creative aspects, thus making them grow and flourish into something truly magnificent. Who wouldn’t want a team like that on their hands?