A Treehugger report recently extolled the virtues of biophilic design — basically, the use of tech strategies, and other elements which mimic natural sources to produce certain behavioral goals.
Biophilic office design assumes that the human brain responds better to greenery or other scenery which mimics nature.
As one Treehugger writer noted, “Studies have linked biophilic experiences with lower cortisol levels, blood pressure, and pulse rate, as well as increased creativity and focus, better sleep, reduced depression and anxiety, higher pain tolerance, and even faster recovery from surgery.”
In a 2018 survey entitled “Workplaces: Wellness + Wood = Productivity,” the use of wood in the workplace was examined and concludes that employees respond well to it.
The survey counted “natural-looking wooden items” that could be seen from workstations, saying “satisfaction with both working life and the physical workplace increases steadily with the proportion of natural-looking wooden surfaces.”
The survey concluded that “people in workplaces with less than 20% natural-looking wooden surfaces are far less satisfied with both their working life and physical workplace compared to those with a high proportion of wood.”
More from Trehugger’s analysis:
- Workers in workplaces with more wood have higher levels of satisfaction
- Biophilic design elements e.g. plants, natural light are also correlated with increased workplace satisfaction
- Workers in work environments with exposed wood feel more connected to nature and have more positive associations with their workplace
- Those in wooden working environments have higher levels of wellbeing and take less leave
- Wood is correlated with higher levels of concentration, improved mood and personal productivity
While offices across the world are taking stock of their need for space in a post-pandemic, hybrid working world, perhaps they should promote further health among their employees by choosing new spaces with plenty of wooden surfaces (or at least outfit existing spaces with such natural accoutrements).