Create a Biophilia Experience to Enhance Mental Health
“Biophilia” literally translates, from Latin, to “love of life”. The full definition is “a love of life and the living world; the affinity of human beings for other life forms.”
That’s all great, but what does it have to do with the workplace? Everything!
Humans are built to be social and have a need to be connected with nature. The ideal workplace offers employees a chance to connect with others with communal work spaces and areas for socialization / downtime. Additionally, creating a biophilia–inspired workspace will help people feel more grounded and connected.
According to environmental psychologist Stephen Kaplan, nature engages the mind and helps to restore directed attention and focus, even saying that people can concentrate better after spending time outdoors. Incorporating nature into the workspace design will enhance employees’ mental health and performance.
Biophilic Design Ideas
- Add plants around the office. Real plants will help improve air quality throughout the office, but fake plants will also help the ambiance.
- Incorporate furniture made out of natural elements like wood.
- Artwork that displays outdoor scenes can help people feel more connected to nature.
- Natural light can help improve quality of life. Incorporate windows wherever possible or natural light lamps.
- Allow people to work outside in a relaxing environment and to recharge mentally.
- Set up meetings that incorporate a walk, instead of sitting at a desk. This encourages better exercise routines and allows people to think more freely and openly.
- Water has a calming affect on people. Add an indoor aquarium or outside pond, if possible.
How has your office incorporated biophilia?