With everything going on in the world today, normal office life has come to an abrupt halt indefinitely. The very thought of returning to our offices remains uncertain as most companies continue instructing employees to telecommute. It goes without saying that our current situation has brought a new meaning to “work from home.”
Working from home may seem ideal to the average office employee with a nine to five job, think about it: you have a flexible work schedule, there is no need to commute and you are saving on gas money; these points seem more like pros than cons right? But given our current situation, what happens when it becomes our only way of working?
We now live in a world where for most of us, our homes have become makeshift classrooms, gyms and offices. The reality of being confined in the same space for prolonged periods of time, day in and day out, can take a toll on our well-being, and therefore effect our ability to productively work. With that said, one trending design method in particular has been known to improve the quality of work; and that is biophilic design.
So, what exactly is biophilic design? It is the innovative concept of transferring the outdoors into an indoor environment, whether it be for work, school or home. This form of design improves creativity and productivity by reconnecting people with elements of the natural world, ideally through fauna, flora and other elements of nature like wood and fungi (biota).
SIMPLE DESIGN PRINCIPLES IN BIOPHILIC DESIGN FOR YOUR HOME
While all the complex natural elements (as mentioned above) are best suited for an office working environment; biophilic design does not actually require a full interior renovation. In fact, the concept is fairly simple enough that it’s principles can be applied to make your long-term work from home experience a more pleasant one.
Listed below are principles utilized in biophilic design that can improve your workflow and overall well-being.
- ACCESS NATURAL LIGHT AND AN OPEN VIEW: Opening those shutters and curtains surprisingly have positive benefits to your health. Not only will your living room look brighter and larger, natural light provides you with vitamin D and reduces possible mood swings throughout the day. The more time you spend in natural light, the more likely you are to get a better nights sleep. You can bounce more light into your home by using mirrors and reflecting them on metal objects to catch sun rays. If you do not have a portable mirror, leaving windows open will naturally let light into your home.
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE BACKYARD OR PATIO: Working outside exposes you to more natural light, fresh air and helps connect you to the outside world. At the moment, more people are at home, which means less cars and traffic noise make for a quieter and peaceful outdoor working experience.
- ADD MORE COLOR INTO YOUR HOME: Whether it’s a full repaint on your walls or simply adding a bowl of colorful fruit on the dinner table. Fending off dull colors in your space with uplifting and vibrant objects can positively alter the appearance of your home and workspace. Reports from K2 Space have shown studies that the color blue can have a profoundly positive impact on your mental health. Other colors like orange have also been known to be beneficial. According to a member of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the color orange provides comfort in times of stress and “combines the energy of red and happiness of yellow.”
- INCLUDE PLANT LIFE: The most obvious design principle in biophilic design is including more plant life into your home. Plants not only look aesthetically pleasing in most interior spaces, but they provide an increase in oxygen levels and can eventually lead to better concentration.
The inclusion of biophilic design in any interior space has been proven to be beneficial to your state of mind and overall health. Reports from K2 Space suggest, “interiors that utilize more natural elements have shown a decrease in mental fatigue and an overall increase in a workers well-being.” It is evident that those who spend the majority of their busy days working indoors lack that connection with nature, therefore the more time people spend working in an artificial environment, the more likely they are to become less creative, productive and even prone to losing that positive mindset.
In today’s world, many of us are faced with the feeling of uncertainty and unease. Working and staying at home for many months on end can be difficult for those who aren’t used to it. Which is why incorporating the simple principles of biophilic design into your home can help provide you with a better working mindset, and alleviate the everyday stress and anxiety you may face on day-to-day basis; in the coming months ahead.