There are many things that make up a healthy workplace. Culture, leadership, health benefits, activity levels and lunch options can all create a healthy work environment. But did you know that architecture and design also contribute to the overall health and well-being of employees? One concept, known as biophilic design, focuses on how the office environment can affect the stress levels, productivity, concentration and overall happiness of employees, and it is taking the workplace by storm.
What is Biophilic Design?
Biophilic design is centered around the concept of biophilia, which is the idea that humans have an innate desire to connect with nature and other living things. With people spending more time indoors now than ever before, biophilic design works to reconnect humans to nature by incorporating natural elements into commercial and residential design. While there are many different ways to incorporate natural elements into the workplace, wood products are one of the most popular options in the world of biophilic design. Here are four reasons why you should consider incorporating wood into the workplace.
1. Increase Productivity
Utilizing wood in the workplace has been found to have positive effects on productivity. According to The Economics of Biophilia, “biophilic elements show productivity increases among staff when provided with nature in the workplace, with economic benefits ranging from $1,000 per employee to $3.6 million company-wide.”
2. Reduced Stress Response
One of the most intriguing benefits of incorporating wood in the workplace is how it can affect stress levels. Wood and Human Health describes a study that sought to examine the effects of natural materials on the autonomic nervous system. In the study, students were given a test in one of four treatment rooms, one with wood furnishings, white furnishings, plants or non-natural artifacts. Stress levels, as measured by skin conductivity, were significantly lower in the wood room in all periods of the study.
3. Boosted Morale
Workplace satisfaction is also reportedly higher in offices utilizing biophilic design. In fact, one study of 1,000 ‘typical’ indoor Australian workers conducted by Pollinate found that workers with exposed wood in their work environments have more positive associations with their workplace, higher levels of well-being, and lower levels of absenteeism.
4. Increased Concentration Levels
The same survey by Pollinate found that “wood is correlated with higher levels of concentration,” with workers rating their ability to concentrate as higher in workplaces with more exposed wood. High levels of concentration not only contribute to productivity but also reduce mental fatigue which means better reliability.
Are you looking to incorporate biophilic design into the workplace? Contact Marks Lumber today to learn more about our circle sawn flooring, siding and timbers.