Biophilia in the workplace
published on 25.05.17
I recently read an article from BBC discussing biophilia (the affinity that humans have with the natural world) in the workplace. It explained how working in closed offices without natural light can sometimes have a negative impact on employees.
Conversely, it also mentioned that adding, for instance, natural plants, light or suitable colours to the workplace can have a very positive impact on employees, increasing their happiness, productivity and creativity.
Do you agree?
I, for once, am in total agreement. I have experienced the huge contrast between working in spaces with windows and natural light, compared to basements with artificial light and no view of the outside world.
If you wish to delve further into this topic, I suggest reading the report “Human spaces: the global impact of biophilic design in the workplace”, written by Sir Cary Cooper and his team from the Robertson Cooper consultancy firm. They studied how working environments have a direct influence not just on the productivity and emotions of employees, but also on the relationships that develop between them.
To summarise, the report includes the following key points:
- Natural light is a crucial determinant of the wellbeing, productivity and creativity of employees.
- Including green spaces, water and natural environments creates an even more positive impact.
- An absence of windows is linked to low creativity levels among employees.
- Colours like green, blue or brown (which differ depending on the country being studied) have a much more positive impact on employees than white walls.
Another related and interesting read is this article from La Vanguardia, it covers the NASA recommendations for cleansing certain negative elements found in the air using houseplants as common as the pothos or ficus.
Who doesn’t like having a real plant nearby these days?
Sources: BBC / Human Spaces / La Vanguardia
Chus García, TBS Barcelona library manager