Workplace environment is one of the most essential aspects to consider when undergoing an office fitout or refresh. It’s integral to the physical and emotional energy of employees and, if done right, can promote staff motivation, well-being and the strength of collaboration.
Biophilia is fundamental to a quality work environment, and the more considered the biophilic strategy, the more the beneficial results are felt amongst the workforce. For example, different office plants have different uses in the office space; the chamaedorea seifrizii (bamboo palm) is the most powerful at removing formaldehyde from the air (a total of 3,196 µg/h), while the gerbera jamesonii (baberton daisy) is the most effective at removing benzene (a total of 4,486 µg/h). Many plants suitable for the office environment can be selected for their air-purifying properties according the existing environment and the toxins detected in the atmosphere of the space.
Biophilia, in the words of biologist E. O. Wilson, is ‘an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world’. Originating from the New Latin bio- + -philia, it’s direct translation is “love of life”, but was extended by Wilson to mean “ the rich, natural pleasure that comes from being surrounded by living organisms.” It’s the emotion that is evoked by a verdant forest, dripping foliage, or a bush in full bloom, but translated to the office environment.
Including biophilic designs in your project has been proved to increase staff motivation and productivity by up to 38%, and well-being by 47%. Just imagine the huge cost-saving to the company in the long-term with significantly reduced sick leave and higher staff productivity… Creativity has also seen a surge of 45%. Consider the strategic successes of market disruptors such as Uber, Amazon or Google; revolving around staff-centred control, flexible work hours and unleashed creativity – we’re definitely onto a good thing! Just look at any of their offices to be flooded with biophilic inspiration.
You can see how our fascination with the science of biophilia quickly progressed…