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Creating healthier workplace interiors

Creating healthier workplace interiors

It is estimated that we spend about 90% of our time indoors, however, an alarming number of employees report that their workplaces do not provide natural light, fresh air or any natural elements in their premises. The workplace environment has a profound effect on employee mental and physical health, and this is affecting performance. Understanding this connection between wellbeing and productivity, and how the workplace can have a negative effect on employees’ health, businesses are looking to create healthier interiors by bringing nature and diversity inside, through what is called biophilic design.

Applying the principles of biophilic design

In 2015/16, 11.7 million working days were lost due to stress, yet it`s been proven that we recover significantly faster from stress when exposed to a natural environment. Biophilic design seeks to connect our inherent need to affiliate with nature into the modern built environment. Studies related to biophilic design show that the inclusion of living elements or views on to nature in an office environment can increase wellbeing by 13%, productivity by 8%, reduce absenteeism and improve our ability to recover significantly faster from stress.

Biophilic design can affect every aspect of interior refurbishment from space planning to interior design to fit out. When designing with biophilia in mind, we seek to add nature to workspaces, incorporating plants, natural light and fresh air. We develop design strategies that use nature as a reference, for example in art and finishes. To enhance human responses to an environment, we also look to mimic spatial qualities of natural environments such as evoking the passage of day and creating spaces that provide refuge.

Accelerating the move towards healthier interiors

The coronavirus outbreak has shone a spotlight on the issue of health and wellbeing in the workplace and accelerated the move towards healthier interiors. Indoor air quality and hygiene have become even more critical due to the pandemic, but it is also important to encourage those working from home back to the office. The workplace must be attractive and offer some of the great benefits home working has provided. Working from home during the lockdown in the summer months has shown employees the importance of nature, making biophilic design even more important to the workspace.

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you create a healthier working environment to ensure the well being of your employees.

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