Examples of planting
Create circulation routes and zoned areas with carpets that are reminiscent of the natural environment. This can highlight the means to social distancing via pathways and ques, whilst also adding natural colours and textures; promoting a greater sense of health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Our friends at interface specialise in flooring that resemble nature and can create zones and natural seeming pathways to keep human traffic moving through a specific format and area.
Examples of zoning
The current situation has called for a lot of change to the design of the workplace to reduce the amount of people in one space, but also to protect staff and customers whilst indoors.
It may feel as though these changes are temporary so one may decide to install a less expensive, temporary option. It is important to consider using natural materials like wood, where possible.
Wood is good for the environment, for people and for organisations. It has been found that wood surfaces in an office lower the body’s sympathetic nervous system (decreasing blood pressure and heart rate), thereby reducing stress. By imputing biophilic elements and thus making a greener building, this will in turn boost the organisation by promoting employee wellbeing ultimately contributing to human-centred improvements in business performance.
Examples of natural materials
Reducing the level of air pollution within the office will help to improve the health, well-being and productivity and concentration levels of those working within the office.
A way to ensure there is suitable ventilation is by using simple extraction or commercial heat recovery units. This will help to remove harmful pollutants swiftly and effectively.
Desk movements and changes may now be required, so when repositioning your workspace consider a part of the office that has a window, if possible.
By positioning our desks near windows we get the added benefit of natural light flooding in, natural light is fundamental for balancing circadian rhythms – this will help you be more alert in the day time – just what may be required when returning to work.
But where windows or mechanical ventilation systems are not possible, why not consider freestanding air purifying units. We have been trialling a HEPA filtered model by Blue Air (the Classic 205), over the last few months and are fascinated by the feedback provided by the supporting App indicating Particulate matter Carbon Monoxide and Sulphur Dioxide.
Examples of ventilation
Using biophilic elements in the workplace bring the added benefit of creating an environment that is more inviting for employees returning to work. It can promote an overall feeling of greater health, leading to a greater sense of happiness while also boosting productivity.
As organisations return to a post-Covid-19 work world, building designs, office layouts and social distancing guidelines are on the drawing board. What better time to consider using biophilic design to improve your space.
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