What will office life be like after the pandemic has ended?
As we consider the implications of COVID-19 on traditional office spaces, we primarily think of social distancing at work and the sanitization of shared surfaces. Especially now, we can’t discount the now essential element of biophilic design.
The benefits of biophilic design in offices are significant. This concept is used within the design industry to increase the connection between people and nature. Incorporating green walls, a living wall space, and air-purifying plants in indoor environments give occupants direct contact with natural elements while they’re indoors.
Some of the advantages of biophilic design are improved mental health, stress reduction, improved overall health, increased productivity and reduced fatigue.
In a 2015 Human Spaces report, which studied 7,600 office workers in 16 countries, they determined that greater than 50% of people didn’t have living plants in their work spaces. Those offices that did incorporate natural elements reported a 15% higher well being score and a 6% higher productivity score.
Additionally, using the best plants for air purification will increase air quality. Now common knowledge, a group of NASA scientists in the 1980s discovered that plants are adept at removing chemicals from the air, making it cleaner for us to breathe. Many plants act as natural air purifiers, making them more essential now than ever.
Biophilic design has a lot of benefits. As we navigate through life changed by COVID-19, the health and well being of those who spend their days in offices are more important than ever. The emotional toll that the pandemic has taken can have negative consequences on productivity and mental health. We will all recover best in an environment that promotes health, first and foremost. Utilizing biophilic design delivers a strong message to employees that their well being is valuable above all else.