The goal of enhancing the psychological well-being of employees in an effort to attract and retain top talent is central to the creative office space movement. Leveraging the positive effects of biophilia and incorporating nature into the workplace is one method used to achieve overall wellness at work.
Biophilia, a concept first popularized by Edward O. Wilson in his 1984 book Biophilia, describes the innate and magnetic desire humans possess to be connected to nature. Research in environmental psychology has found that a close relationship to nature is an adaptive human function that allows for and supports psychological restoration.
The need to incorporate nature into the workplace has only been amplified in the age of constant connection and stimulation through technology. Biophilic design helps to ground and soothe employees. Within an urban office environment, elements of nature or nature-evoking colors and plants, can provide workers a respite from the day-to-day stresses of modern work life. Biophilic design not only supports organizational outcomes, but promotes well-being, productivity and creativity. Practicing biophilic design can take different forms including:
- Access to an abundance of natural light
- Creative utilization of outdoor space like roof space, balconies, courtyards, and parks
- Incorporation of natural materials such as wood and stone
- Inclusion of plants in the workspace such as greenwalls and vertical gardens
Through these applications, incorporating elements of nature into a creative office space can create a richer environment, fostering a sense of meaning, belonging, and wellbeing.