A green office. The route to a healthy workplace environment.
It is a paradox that although our connection with nature is encoded in our DNA, we spend most of our time in environments that are becoming ever more removed from nature. The average European today spends around 90% of their time indoors.
The current situation understandably has many negative consequences, and in particular for those working in standard office environments. Employees increasingly face health problems such as burn-out syndrome and diseases of affluence linked to a sedentary lifestyle.
At a time when the global pandemic has caused many new health challenges, it is time to consider options for renewing our link with nature and use this as a positive influence on our health.
What is biophilic design? And how does it help to make you healthier and more productive?
The idea that people have a strong innate relationship with living things is nothing new. Together with the findings of biologist E. O. Wilson, who termed "biophilia" to be a product of the biological revolution, the new discipline of biophilic design was born in the 1980s. However, this field is only now realising its full potential.
Flowers are just the start
The pronouncement that “having a bit of greenery in an office is a good thing” is only the start. Biophilic design is a much more complex discipline and requires a careful approach.
Biophilic design is used within the field of interior design to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions. It also includes specific colour arrangements, new types of furniture, floor coverings and decorations. Attention is also paid to sound and the way it acts in the space.
Some of the basic biophilic design elements
- Environmental responsibility
- Natural shapes and forms
- Respect for natural processes and rules
- Light and space
- Cultivation of relationships in the given location
For planning new “green” elements an approach should be taken similar to that used for other important components of the modern work environment. It is necessary for this to be addressed right from the start of a project so it fits in with everything else. The thorough consideration of the workplace environment and relationships can lead to original and more durable solutions.
Various studies conclude that people feel happy, relaxed and have a lower level of stress in a natural environment. They also enjoy better health. In short, people are more content and better motivated.
If you are furnishing a new company HQ and you want to know what biophilic design has to offer please contact us. Our specialists have experience with comprehensive interior projects. They would be happy to go through your plans with you and acquaint you with our completed projects and recommend the right way to move forward.
Nature in the interior. What do financial experts say?
Today there are already a range of examples that show that a green office is also a sound economic choice.
For example, a study The Economics of Biophilia shows that low productivity can cost you much more than energy costs. Example: the number of calls taken per hour by telephone operators who looked out onto vegetation through large windows was significantly higher than the number of calls taken per hour by those without a view from a window. The first group handled calls 6-7% faster than the second group.
The performance of employees is obviously affected most by the interior environment. Here plants traditionally help by being able to clean the air of pollutants, produce oxygen, reduce dust and increase air humidity. Thanks to better air quality we are able to better concentrate and we are happier in our workplace. When plants are used in a continuous “living wall” they also provide some sound insulation, which helps us to remain calm and reduce stress.
Modern technology is able to monitor and evaluate the environment. We therefore have hard data at our disposal which not only confirms the positive influence of plant life on our wellbeing, but also enables us to come up with more effective concepts.
What is concealed in the flower pots?
Czech firm Greenest Company can arrange monitoring of the internal office environment in an inconspicuous way. Their equipment, loaded with sensors, records all the key parameters. Air humidity, CO2 content, light conditions, acoustics, pressure and temperature. The recorded values from your office are then compared with an extensive database of measurements, and data-driven recommendations can be provided. The equipment is concealed in plant pots containing coffee trees.
Be inspired by our green projects
New green offices in Prague
At every step you feel the connection with nature and the endeavour to use sustainable materials as far as possible.
Idea Delivery Lab
Coworking space designed to promote creativity, enable various types of cooperation, help to maintain work tempo and also offer space for relaxation.
Dog friendly office
Two storey headquarters of a pet food company in which has been designed not only as a good place to work, but also as an environment in which four-legged friends can also feel comfortable.
Would you like your own green office? We will advise you how.
Are you planning a new headquarters and want to take the green route? Contact us. Our specialists have experience with large comprehensive interior projects. We will be very happy to discuss your plans with you and give you details of our completed projects and recommendations on how to proceed.