In organisations where hierarchy is important, a promotion often involves a logistical upgrade, such as a new workstation or office. More space, more natural light, more comfort and more privacy.
Among these benefits, lighting plays a major role due to its positive contribution to general health and well-being. According to a recent study, workers who can enjoy daylight during the day have a better mood, can be more creative, sleep better and suffer fewer vision problems and headaches.
After a long period of remote working, almost all workers have become accustomed to performing their tasks in the best conditions, close to a window or in the open air. Everyone knows where they can work best, but aknowledge how far away the classic office workstation is from this ideal.
These needs are not at all underestimated in environments that focus on the well-being of employees. On the contrary, in the new corporate designs that are increasingly inclined towards a hybrid approach, the orientation is moving in this direction by adopting the theories of biophilic design: nature is the primary inspiration and becomes an integral part of the office.
How to start: small steps for more “natural” spaces
What is a biophilic approach?
Natural elements in architecture such as vegetation, light, air and wood stimulate the senses and influence the workplace lifestyle, improving physical and mental health as well as productivity. Inspired by nature, this means designing spaces where people can move more freely. Bright and not too noisy environments where air quality is continuously monitored. Sustainable and tactile workplaces.
Ambitious goals, but they can start in a small way, through small initiatives. Here are some ideas for undertaking change.
- Listen to everyone’s needs. Listening to the needs of different teams is fundamental to strengthen the sense of belonging of workers, making them feel part of the company. A creative team might need more natural light, while a programmer will be more interested in a quiet environment. Here we apply the same principles of behavioural based design.
- Choose real plants. Plants have the ability to dampen environmental vibrations, noise and noise pollution. Artifical plants make a good aesthetic contribution but don’t improve air quality. A natural element requires care and patience, but the pay-off in terms of health and well-being is far greater, whether it’s just a few plants or an entire green wall used as an interior partition.
- Don’t obstruct light sources. The space in front of windows (especially if they can be opened) should always be kept clear to allow more people to enjoy natural light. If, on the other hand, natural light is limited, desks should be oriented towards the outside, keeping meeting rooms in central spaces that are generally darker.
- Bring the colours and textures of nature into the office to recreate the atmosphere of the natural world.
- Opt for flexible and light furniture, to evoke freedom of movement and to give people the possibility to sit anywhere as if they were in an open-air space. One solution in an office environment is to choose mobile desks that can be moved easily and lighweight seating.
The connection with nature is called biophilia and translates into a person’s biological propensity to feel better in the presence of natural elements. The ideal? A green office, where everyone can benefit from natural air and light, silence and comfort. A goal to be achieved step by step.