Sad to say, but most urban dwellers are almost separated from nature. Most urban offices are devoid of greenery. They are surrounded by concrete. Worse, window blinds block natural light from coming into the building. The lights are clinical and coming from bulbs. This needs to change. Every office’s hardworking team deserves a biophilic office; a workplace that values their safety, health, and wellness.
Working in a biophilic office is one the greatest office perks
Apart from the salary and benefits package, the office perks make an employee value one company over the others. Perks are nice additions… like a special icing on a cake.
At Superdraft, we consider working in a biophilic office one of those perks. It is as valuable as having the ability to work from home (or anywhere), free gym, free food and drinks, concierge services, free chiropractor consultations, and transportation allowance.
Simply because a biophilic office can reduce stress, enhance a person’s creativity, keeps the mind clear, improves our well-being, and boosts productivity.
Studies show that all of us have an innate love and genetic connection to nature due to the hundreds of thousands of years of agrarian living on Earth.
The biophilic design is human-centred. It ensures that a structure connects to the natural environment. It improves the spaces we work in today, with a lot of benefits to our health and well-being.
This must be a priority
For a company to flourish, it needs a healthy, happy, and functional workforce. Unfortunately, there’s a great threat to the health of all employees.
Because there’s a diminished connection to nature and increasing pressure on the workplace, employees get stressed and compromised. High levels of stress may lead to several mental health disorders and cardiovascular diseases.
We can prevent this when we build structures that follow the biophilic design. Incorporate direct and indirect elements of nature into the building. Use natural materials like wood, natural stone, clay bricks, leather, steel, natural fabrics, water, and glass. Incorporate biomorphic forms and patterns in the overall design as well.
According to research, working inside a biophilic office reduces stress, normalizes blood pressure level and heart rate of a person. It also boosts the person’s productivity, enhances creativity, and restores concentration. These are the main reasons why prominent companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon, and more moved to biophilic offices (or renovated their current one). Investing in a great office is also investing in your staff.
Don’t forget natural light
Another important element of biophilic design is natural light. The lack of proper daylighting in the office may lead to a lot of health problems including the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
The sad reality is, a recent study conducted in the US revealed that almost half of the nation’s employees (47%) report that there’s very little to no natural lighting in their offices. The same study found out that the majority are willing to forego several perks at work like child-care service, free use of fitness centres, and free food/drinks at the office cafeteria if they can have a better office.
Science confirmed that daylit offices are good for the employee’s wellbeing. Natural light is key to a worker’s overall happiness at work, high job satisfaction, high-performance rating, and a strong commitment to the company. People don’t suffer from eyestrain, headache, and drowsiness as well.
Employers shouldn’t think twice about it. Daylighting does more than synthesizing overall employee happiness. It is cost-effective because daylighting requires fewer fluorescent lighting in the morning. That cuts down overall costs.
Take the company Overstock as an example. Because they wanted to enhance their employee’s productivity, they installed 30,000 sq. ft. of smart windows that optimize natural daylight. The results? There was a 2% increase in productivity which translates to over $2M of savings.
As office designers, we encourage you to replace your artificial lighting with energy-efficient variants. They are more expensive to procure, but they last a long time and you get to cut the costs of your power bills.
Make it your corporate social responsibility
The truth is, most employees can’t do without a biophilic office. A lot of studies proved it. A lot of surveys tell us that there’s a need for it. Yes, it’s a hefty investment (all office renovations and upgrades are), but this one is worth it.
It’s good for the employees. It increases the company’s profit. And, it boosts the company’s image.