5 Benefits of Biophilic Design
Benefits of Biophilic Design - February 2024
February is the month of love, with the widely celebrated Valentine’s Day situated in the middle. On this romantic day, flowers are a common gift between loved ones, a biophilic tradition steeped in history that dates all the way back to Victorian times. The language of flowers is somewhat defunct these days – so, why do we continue to gift flowers?
Beyond looking pretty, there are multiple psychological benefits to having flowers and plants in your environment, whether a bouquet in your bedroom, or a “living wall” in the workplace.
Introducing flowers, plants, and other elements of the natural world into a space is referred to as biophilic design, an evergreen interior design trend many are familiar with. In our previous article, we named biophilia as one of our top workplace trends for 2024, and here’s why...
Biophilic design such as a 'living wall' has multiple psychological benefits for your workforce.
Biophilic Benefit #1: Plants are Positivity Pollinators
The most prominent psychological effect from flora is its mood-enhancing powers. Being in an environment with plants results in a more positive outlook and benefits your energy and happiness. This impact has been proven to last for days, even without constant contact.
Improved positivity is contagious, prompting people to engage in better self-care and healthy habits, which reduce absenteeism in the workplace. Enthusiasm, energy, and job satisfaction also all come wrapped in the positivity package.
Studies from Exeter University found that employees were 15% more productive when plants were introduced into a workplace that previously contained no biophilia.
Biophilic Benefit #2: Plants are Stress Relievers
In hectic environments, our fight-or-flight responses are triggered, and prolonged exposure to this sort of environment results in the disruption of our nervous system’s balance, causing energy drain and fatigue. In contrast, human interaction with nature, or biophilic design, restores this balance, decreasing stress and increasing concentration.
Interestingly, the practice of ‘forest bathing’ (known as Shirin-Yoku) is popular in Japan, which is the act of making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest. Coined by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in 1982, this practice was developed as a response to the increasing urbanization and technological advancements in Japan, and has since become widely known for its reported health benefits.
Elements of the forest can be incorporated to invoke the sensation of 'Shirin-Yoku'
Biophilic Benefit #3: Plants are Air Filters
There isn’t much worse than a stuffy office. Through the respiration processes of plants, excess carbon dioxide is removed from the air, and oxygen is released, improving the air quality in even the most enclosed office. Even offices with air conditioning can benefit from biophilic design, with many species of plant making air more humid in spaces where the air can often feel far too dry.
While one house plant on a desk may not have much of an effect on air quality, introducing a variety of living plants (even building a ‘living wall’), is sure to be a breath of fresh air.
Biophilic Benefit #4: Plants are Acoustic Absorbers
Noise can often be an issue in offices, particularly in open-plan ones. A well-placed plant can help to reduce noise pollution in an area with its leaves, branches, and stems. These natural forms absorb, deflect, and reflect sound.
As a natural consequence of this noise reduction, employees will feel less stress, in addition to the natural stress reduction felt by the mere presence of plant life.
A well-placed plant, in combination of acoustic solutions such as wall tiles, can greatly reduce noise pollution
Biophilic Benefit #5: Plants are Healing Aids
The benefits of biophilic design reach even those in the healthcare sector, with studies finding improved recovery rates and reduced reliance on pain medication in patients located in a room with a view of nature and exposure to plants.
Of course, biophilia does not only benefit patients, as healthcare staff (a workforce known for extreme stress levels) are also positively affected by plants and the many benefits listed above.
With all these benefits of biophilic design, it’s no wonder that bringing nature’s beauty to the workplace is such an enduring trend. This February, it’s time to consider giving the gift of biophilic design to the workplace you love!
What are your favourite ways to bring the natural world into your workspace? Share your thoughts, along with this article, using the hashtag #DamsValentines!