Sustainability

Four Ways to Weave Nature into the Workplace

How biophilic design promotes employee wellbeing through natural elements, such as wood

Four Ways to Weave Nature into the Workplace

It’s true. We spend 90 percent of our lives indoors. And, most of that time is spent glued to some sort of screen, tending to our fast-paced jobs. In fact, a recent study revealed that 50 percent of employees check their work email before even getting out of bed; quite a jump from the eight percent reported in 2002.

So, while we’re busy bonding with our inboxes, we’re neglecting that human-nature connection we innately crave. Because it’s those elements — fresh air, lush greenery, natural lighting — that re-energize us, increase our productivity and improve our wellbeing. (Read: Restoration Office) It’s no wonder why many organizations are embracing biophilic design, a method that brings the outdoors in.

Here are four ways to weave this approach into the workplace.

1. Explore Nature-Inspired Materials

Today’s workplaces are embracing the authenticity employees are seeking by incorporating materials inspired by nature. Wood, for example, embraces the natural imperfections, enhancing the uniqueness, beauty and character of every piece. Materials such as laminate offer the appearance and warmth of wood, while stone and Corian can bring in nods to natural landscapes.

2. Greenery, Reimagined

The calming effects of plants have been proven to reduce employee stress and anxiety. Living walls are modular, flexible and scalable, and design options are endless. Sagegreenlife, a Coalesse partner, helps companies create that “oooh” moment in the office that inspires people while bringing them closer to nature in a completely new way.

3. It’s In the Fabric

A more subtle way to incorporate biophilic design is in the fabrics you choose for your space. Steelcase brands Coalesse and Designtex partnered to create a series of organic patterns, calming colors and natural textiles that reflect nature’s soothing properties.

4. Lighten Up

While we all crave natural light, not every office comes with windows. Steelcase has partnered with renowned Italian lighting designer FLOS to offer a line of unique, modern lighting solutions. Featuring pendants, sconces, table and floor lamps, each piece combines beauty and technology with a sense of play to transform any office.


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