In the modern world, a large number of people have indoor sedentary jobs, in fact, various studies have shown that up to 35% of us do not get even 15 minutes of time outside during a typical working week. This means we are not able to connect with nature which is something that is deeply ingrained into our health and wellbeing.
Bringing the Outside Inside
Biophilic design is a concept that was introduced by Edward Wilson who is an American biologist and the motivation is to bring the outside in to enable us to spend time in a more natural surrounding when we cannot actually get outdoors. He has introduced it into several workplaces, and it is a concept that is catching on in a big way. We know that plants are able to clean the air, and of course, they need carbon dioxide and release oxygen back to the atmosphere around them. It is, therefore, no wonder we feel better for spending time in nature.
Amazon Leading the Way
Amazon is one of the major companies embrace the concept, and you will find many glass-domed greenhouses in their offices, which of course, is a typical big corporation approach that will have cost millions to install. It is clear that we do not need to be quite so outlandish to accomplish a cohabitation of plants and people in workspaces. In smaller offices, the benefits can really help the company thrive as plants actually reduce sick leave and increase the productivity of staff, as the environment is more conducive to wanting to be there.
Turning Your Office Green
There are lots of small changes that you can make to bring some plant life into your work environment. You could start with encouraging employees to have a pot plant of their choice on the desk if everyone brings in their own you immediately have a brightened workspace. Taking allergies into account, it is best to stick to leafy green plants rather than flowers with pollen, but there is still a wide range of beautiful specimens out there. Next, you can place pot plants in communal spaces and lobbies, and of course, these can be larger. The contract of size and height of the plant is much more reminiscent of what we find in nature.
Taking it Further
If you really want to embrace the Biophilic approach, you can also start to create things like moss walls, and living room dividers which really start to bring the concept of the outside in. Some companies have also added to the senses by bringing in subtle sound effects played around the office. For buildings that have outside space or inside space that could accommodate a grassed area, you can also encourage employees to spend five minutes of their break time earthing. This involves walking barefoot on mud or grass (nothing manmade like concrete), and this is said to be balancing for the body and helps to remove stress, and toxin build-up. Overall a green office space offers enhanced wellbeing and mental health for all, so even in a small way should be embraced.
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