Biophilia, a term that originated with German-born American psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, is the idea that humans possess the innate tendency to seek connections with nature. It comes as no surprise that many cubicle-confined office workers yearn for a return to all things natural. Particulate levels (including airborne spores) in the air can be reduced by as much as 20% in some instances with the introduction of indoor plants into an office setting.
Natural materials are typically in short supply in most offices. Plastic chairs, metal desks, metal cabinets, allergen-loaded carpets add no health benefit whatsoever to the place where people spend the majority of their waking lives. A healthy dose of greenery in the office can help alleviate symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and studies have shown that plants have helped increase employee productivity. Natural sensory stimulation, through plants in the office, is the ideal way to improve the health and wealth of employees and clients alike.
The Fresh Scent Of Office Green
The sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses. The addition of fresh flowers can add a floral texture to the work space that uplifts employees. Greet guests to your office with a bright display of orchids or other fragrant flowers on your lobby desk. Plants can also improve the overall air quality as they absorb and remove harmful pollutants from the air. One small office plant can provide adequate pollutant filtering for up to 100 square feet of office space.
Ambient scenting complements the natural effectiveness of indoor plants. These fragrances are an increasingly popular way to introduce nature to the workplace while pairing wonderfully with plants for a more complete natural enhancement of the work space.
The Birth Of Illusion
Creating a natural illusion for the office is of paramount importance. Tall plants can function as natural walls that offer the lush garden experience, creating the feeling of the soothing outdoors.
Office workers, particularly in taller buildings, have a view over an atrium, rather than the outdoors. The natural vista will simultaneously soothe and stimulate, leading to a suddenly rejuvenated workforce. Having easy access to lush greenery provides employees with respite from the grind of the day-to-day.
Modern Refuge and Noise Absorption
The intrinsic need for shelter has been a constant throughout the existence of man. Creating a natural shelter with indoor plants is ideal. Taller plants such as palm trees lend themselves perfectly to office spaces as well as other commercial properties such as malls, restaurants, casinos and hotel lobbies. Noise absorption, especially at high frequencies, offers stress reduction, privacy and ultimately a natural retreat-like work environment.
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How else can offices harness the benefits of nature-inspired design? Share your thoughts below in the comments!