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Post-Pandemic Biophilic Offices_ A Guide

The world stood dead on its tracks for close to two years since March 2020. The dreaded C-word – Coronavirus – has changed the way we live our daily lives. Lives, jobs, freedom, mental peace – the losses have been aplenty. And we haven’t yet seen the last of it.

But resilience is our middle name. So the world is turning around. But with a difference. Both at home and the workplace. The need to be with nature is being felt more than ever before. And offices around the world are doing their bit to ensure this. They are incorporating nature design concepts or biophilic design elements.

Biophilic Design Definition?

“The inherent human inclination to affiliate with nature” is how one authority defines it. Another source defines it as “an evolved propensity to affiliate with living organisms and natural systems.”

Simply put, biophilia is a science. A science that explores the relationship between humans and nature for ages. And biophilic design principles create more connections between people and nature by incorporating more greenery in modern offices.

Biophilic architecture is evolving further in offices in the post-pandemic world. From creating more biophilic spaces outdoors to ensuring more biophilic interior design, workplaces are seeing it all. 

Biophilia décor is all about vegetation in the workplace. About a lot of natural light. About the view of the outdoors while working at the office desk. And also about incorporating cultural elements in the designing process. A biophilic façade should include all of this. To the maximum extent possible.

Biophilic Design History

The history of formal biophilic design is not very old. The term was coined in the 1980s. However, indigenous people across the world have incorporated nature in their home design in some way or the other. And we are seeing a renewed interest in biophilic designing across offices and residences.

The COVID-19 Impact

The resultant extended lockdowns created a spurt in the work-from-home system. As per research conducted, more than 36 million Americans will work remotely by 2025. What this implies is a complete redesigning of office spaces globally. What would matter more is the human experience at the workplace. A healthy and sustainable workplace would be the key.

Biophilia in Post-Pandemic Workplaces

People working in office spaces that have greenery are 15% more creative and productive. These are the findings of one research. It results in lesser leaves from work due to health issues. Items like ceiling plants, hanging greenery décor, etc. initiate a positive change in workplace-related perceptions.

And it’s not just about natural plants. Even artificial foliage products have a positive impact on employee mindset. Be it artificial hanging gardens, faux hanging plant screens, or fake ceiling plants, they do their bit in keeping the office green and fresh.

There’s more to it than just a new method of designing. In the post-pandemic days, employees would need to maintain social distancing in the office. This can lead to a sense of disconnect and loneliness. 

That’s when biophilia comes into play. It acts as a stress reliever and improves the cognitive functions of the employees. It increases the feeling of satisfaction. The end result is higher employee retention.

However, you would do good to follow some essential guidelines while introducing biophilic elements in your workplace design. It should not be a random activity. Read on to know more about some of these essential elements.

Include Elements of Natural Sounds

The chirping of birds. The sound of the winds blowing across open fields. Or that of waves gently striking the shores. These have a number of salutary effects on the human mind. They create a sense of calmness and relaxation. 

Consider installing a hanging greenery decor screen consisting of live/faux plants with simulated sounds of birds chirping. Or water installations that create a sound akin to a gently cascading waterfall. The “new normal” workplace won’t seem so dull, after all.

Vary the Lighting and Temperature 

The natural light and temperature change as the day progresses. Our body is used to this flux. But the constant and unwavering artificial lighting and temperature inside the office is at odds with the natural system.

So, let there be light! Of the natural kind, of course.

You might install more floor-to-ceiling windows in the office. this reduces the dependence on artificial lighting. Glass-paneled ceilings also do the same.

Biophilic offices should also have HVAC systems that regulate the in-house temperature in accordance with outside weather. Windows in and around workplaces need to be operable. This allows the entry of outside natural air.

You have another option if your workplace is located in a temperate city. Consider using whatever available open-air space you have to create work areas. The rooftop is a case in point (should you have access to it). Place some tile planter boxes or succulent screens here and there. Natural air and light, coupled with elements of biophilia, would act as great refreshing and energizing agents.

Visual Appeal

A workstation surrounded by plants that hang from the ceiling. Or halo planters and other forms of suspended greenery. Or maybe, moss walls. Simply looking at the color green has a positive impact on an individual’s creativity. A visual biophilic office design element can also include ferns and other plants as cubicle separators. 

In every way, biophilic offices would be very welcoming to returning employees in the post-pandemic times. Much more than their bland, concrete-only counterparts. Because these workplaces would radiate a lot of positive vibes.

Interested to know and discuss more? Reach out to us. At Plantscape Commercial Silk, we offer an array of biophilic office design options. We can help you to transform your workplace. Of course, for the better!