With over 40,000 plants Amazon’s now famous ‘rainforest offices’ in Seattle, The Spheres, are an extreme (and extremely impressive) take on adding plant life to working environment. However, it was interesting to read a recent article on the European CEO website which underlined our view that while plants are a positive addition, they need to be part of a broader and more beneficial ‘biophilic’ approach to office design.
Biophilia is a term that describes people’s hard-wired design to connect with nature. Biophilic office design taps into and sates that desire through a carefully considered mix of means, including plants.
It also incorporates everything from the way that natural light can be introduced into the workplace (not only via windows, but also other methods such as light wells) through to the use of natural colours and materials such as wood metal and stone.
And it’s not just about what is on the inside of your office. Consideration of your office layout to give people views of nature outside the office can also play a part in boosting productivity. For example, a call centre that invested in changes to their office design to give everyone a view of the outdoors enjoyed a ROI of almost 3:1 through productivity improvements.
As well as improving productivity, business that take a biophilic approach to their office design can also look forward to enhanced creativity and wellbeing, and an ability to recruit and retain more talented people.