What is Biophilia?
The biologist E. O. Wilson said:
“Biophilia is an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world.”
Biophilia is the connection that we naturally have with plant life and nature. We are hard-wired to respond positively to elements of nature and plants, and when we don’t have them we miss them, sometimes without even realising it! Biophilic design is designing spaces sympathetically to this theory – this means plants, natural materials and lighting are all included in a biophilic design.
He studied the lack of connection between nature and urban living, and found many issues arising from it. Issues include increased stress, poor air quality and sick building syndrome. The ways he found to overcome these issues have become the foundation of the biophilic design principles used today. Read on to find how it can be used to create fulfilling, healthy spaces for us to live and work in.
What are the Statistics?
When plants are put into offices, staff productivity rises by up to 15% and creativity increases by 6%. In addition, staff say their wellbeing goes up 15% when biophilic elements are put into offices! A study done in 2007 shows that plants could reduce Carbon Dioxide by up to 25%! Sick leave and absenteeism also decreases because staff feel happier and more motivated. (For more about the services we provide click here)
How can I introduce it into my office?
Planting is one of the easiest way to bring in biophilia as this has an instant effect with very little fuss. Plants bring in some vibrant greenery and life into any space! Lighting is another element that can be simply introduced. Natural light cycles resonate with the human body’s circadian rhythms to help keep staff happy and well. (Learn more about circadian rhythms here)
Biophilia can also introduced into a space through the furnishings. For example, some manufacturers now offer biophilic designs in their product range including grass, moss and wood effect carpets and flooring. Wall and furniture finishes also are great places to bring in some extra colour.
The benefits of happy staff are only too apparent. There is less resignations, more productivity, less sickness and a better culture in the company. Companies really need to take biophilia seriously to really drive towards a better, healthier and greener future.