Biophilia: the role of nature in office design

The office is where we spend most of our day. As businesses are endeavouring to make workplaces better and more productive places for their employees, biophilia is becoming an increasingly effective tool to achieve this.

Diem Group explain their approach when designing ‘every employee’s dream workspace’: an office that workers are willing to come to, where each individual is encouraged to interact and most importantly is inspired by nature.
What is Biophilic Office Design?

Living walls, emphasising natural light and water are all widely used in biophilic office design, along with earth colors, roof gardens and open spaces.

Contributing to the creation of a sense of community among the employees, biophilia aims to create workspaces that support social integration and employee well-being. It is now becoming an integral part of any commercial and public building plan.

Where it all started

The term 'biophilia' was first coined by Psychologist Eric Fromm in 1964 with reference to the human need and desire to connect with nature. The same principles apply to biophilic office design.

The understanding that well-being is a vital aspect of a healthy life dates back to the Victorian Era. Back then, beach resorts gained popularity as destinations to rest, relax and benefit from the sea air. In the same period, the interest in gardening increased and public botanical gardens were created. Today’s biophilic design aims to re-glorify these natural elements.

Community and wellbeing

Building a community in the office creates a sense of belonging. Employees who feel part of something enjoy working together and support each other. Biophilia is the optimal backdrop for said community, with plants and greenery balancing out the digital elements that are so present in today’s offices.

A human-centered approach to design doesn’t only strengthen the employees’s inclusion, it also enhances their bond with nature and its beneficial effects on well-being.

An article titled 'The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace' found that workers in offices with natural elements such as greenery and sunlight are 6% more likely to be productive and increase their well-being by 15%. They are also 15% more creative than other office workers.

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