There are several studies that relate nature design to productivity. The existence of the first boosts the levels of the second. And this is not just about decorating your space to make it more productive, it's about designing for overall wellbeing. Just by having a green space in the workplace, the perception of workers' wellbeing increases by up to 15%. Once inserted in a greener space, employees' happiness levels tend to increase, and in turn, stress decreases. Also, perceptions of anxiety, stress levels, and mood swings can be reduced by almost half. Learn more about how to transform your office into a more productive and happier space below.
A few decades ago, in 1984, the American sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson recognised urbanisation was having a detrimental effect on mental health, and developed Biophilia to address the disconnect between humans and nature. To add to this finding, in recent years, a series of studies that reveal office environments are not good for the workers that inhabit them. In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) predicted that stress-related illness such as mental health disorders and cardiovascular disease will be the two most significant contributors to work-related illnesses next year.
I'm a living proof of this research - as a personal experience, I believe that having more nature-connected workspaces has drastically increased our employee wellbeing levels. These in turn become happier and even more productive. Nature is something really special. In fact, this connection with nature can hardly be described. This is why, at Forest Homes, we redesign our spaces to create an environment that immediately refers to nature - Daniela Rodriguez, Forest Homes
Why should you care about improving your wellbeing at work?
Considering all the anxiety and stress problems related to our daily jobs, we can't forget that most of us spend about a third of our lives in the workplace. It is essential then, that work is a high promoter of wellbeing.
This is not only beneficial for the time spent at work, but also inspiring for people to create this kind of environment for themselves in their own homes. In this regard, office managers should be informed of and encourage communication about the benefits associated with nature connection.
At Forest Homes, our customers already notice a difference in the awareness of the need of nature connection at work. “At first, people were looking for us, above all, for the beauty of this type of decoration. Now they think of the junction of two elements: beauty plus the connection with nature - Daniela Rodriguez, Forest Homes
Today's workforce looks for employers providing an eye-catching setting, where they want to spend their days. They prefer to work for companies that care about their health and wellbeing. This is why, biophilic designs, such as those offered here, can satisfy both conditions – and will definitely have a positive impact on your bottom line.
So, how to include more wellbeing promoters at your office or workspace? You could start by including some the factors listed below.
Outside views with sunlight
Skylights and glass walls can increase light and allow people access to outside views. Studies have shown that access to outside views of natural settings together with windows that invite in sunlight have a significant impact in the wellbeing, energy and productivity levels of employees.
If an outside view is not possible, you may recreate outside landscapes using vivid nature imagery, as for example with nature murals, and even play nature videos in your workspace. See nature imagery solutions here.
Green walls, rooftop gardens and plenty of interior plants increase greenery which adds to the visual appeal of the office. Thanks to its numerous benefits, biophilic design is a rising priority in the office space. Vertical wall gardens, whether from living or preserved plants, present a greatest opportunity to design a more natural space.
With the technology of plant preservation, you are able to use green walls, screens, furniture and various other designs featuring a variety of 100% natural preserved plants, that require no maintenance whatsoever. This is perfect for structured office environments, as they can enjoy the unrivalled aesthetics of nature spaces, and also the acoustic qualities of nature in the space. This is so, for many years and without any maintenance. See examples of preserved plant solutions here.
Good Air Quality
Poor air quality is another contributing factor to ill-health amongst office workers. Toxins from furniture polish, chemicals from cleaning agents and fumes from outdoors have been found to cause “sick building syndrome”. In 1989, NASA’s Clean Air Study found a great variety of common indoor plants that neutralise the effects of sick building syndrome by removing toxic agents and providing better air quality. Additionally, diffusing essential oils may contribute to a fresh, natural and better quality air at the workspace. Research shows that that diffusing essential oils helps eliminate negative ions in spaces and creates a more enjoyable environment. There are multiple benefits of diffusing essential oils for overall wellbeing such as improving concentration, encouraging sleep, lifting mood, and also naturally detoxing the air from bacteria, fungi, and viruses, which then helps support our immune system. See air quality solutions here.
Natural elements that invoke the movement and warmth of the environment have an impact as visual features. Moreover, they promote emotional stimulation and reduce stress in high-tension environments. An abundance of natural materials such as wood, stone, glass and sand together with earthy tones like brown, green, and light blue, can recreate a more relaxed, and thus, productive space.
Expand your work to the outdoors
As well as bringing the outdoors indoors, interior office designers have been looking for ways that utilise outdoor areas in a variety of innovative designs. What we’re starting to see are more instances of rooftop gardens, balconies with plants and seating arrangements, and car parks transformed into gardens complete with park benches.
Outdoor spaces not only add a welcoming extension on to your office space, but they also help to stimulate employees and improve mood and job satisfaction. As a result, companies benefit from consistent levels of performance and staff retention.
Create your own relaxed and productive workspace at Forest Homes
Whether locally or remotely, Forest Homes takes time to get to know your office spaces. Our personalised solutions start by getting to know the team, the spaces, understanding what the client wants and, in detail, what their needs are. You could also already have an idea of what you would like and we can adapt our solutions to your needs. Then it is time to us to get to work either on custom plant solutions, favouring natural light, and sustainable materials, avoiding plastics and short-lived materials. Contact us.