Biophilia has been gaining popularity over the years and we have seen many organisations incorporating biophilic elements in their workspaces. Biophilic design is not just about plants and greenery, it is also the use of natural materials. It allows humans to not only be around nature, but use it to preserve physical, spiritual, and mental health, and well-being. Adding greenery to the workplace, improving ventilation, allowing natural light to flow into the workplace and use of nature materials like wood and stones, lead to higher productivity, reduces absenteeism and uplifts the mood of people at the workplace.
Infact, over the past years healthcare professionals have been raising concerns about mental health-related to stress, anxiety, fears and more; and how going green can alleviate stress and soothe anxiety. Here, biophilic design acts as a source for improving the mental well-being of a person. Hence, it is no wonder that architects and building owners alike are using biophilic designs in their commercial properties, increasing its sustainability quotient and asset value.
The current situation is unlike any other and with it comes insurmountable levels of stress- the stress of isolation, job loss, financial stability etc. While world over people are working from home, it is also vitally important to create a peaceful work environment at home. Therapeutic effects of biophilia cannot be over – emphasized. Exploring biophilic experience to enhance mood, emanate tranquillity and creativity can alleviate stress and restore spirit, promoting psychological well being. Placing plants indoors, natural lighting, ventilation, creating spaces that give a sense of nature around caring and being surrounded with plants or simply images of nature can improve cognitive function and overall health. Including biophilia at home is not very difficult. One can simply create sit out spots in the balcony, garden or next to a window. An indoor garden can work wonders; while basking in the sunshine, the ever-changing clouds hovering across the sky which might have gone unnoticed till now, can be healing.
Bringing biophilia into the workplace helps strike a balance between moments of intense work through the day with moments of rest and relaxation. Office spaces with greenery further contribute towards reducing stress and increasing employee job satisfaction. Plants also help reduce air pollution and lower noise levels. Infact research over the years have shown that contact with greenery and sunlight has a positive impact on an employee’s creativity and also increases their productivity level.
In fact, surveys conducted in offices have shown, young adults working in an office designed following biophilic design principles have lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and better performance on short-term memory tests. It is but obvious that if an employee feels that the organization is taking measures to create a healthier workplace, they will feel safe emotionally and physically. A known fact, healthier employees stick around longer, reducing rehiring costs.
A stitch in time saves nine. Thus, taking steps to incorporate biophilic designs in your immediate environment at the workplace and at home can play a large role in ensuring your psychological well being.