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Everything You Need to Know About Biophilic Office Design

There are a lot of common misconceptions about biophilic office spaces. Many people think that making a workspace biophilic is simply adding plants. However, that is not the case, and it is far more complicated than that. The biophilic office design means bringing more outdoors into your indoor workspace. You do not have to worry about supporting an inclusive environment in your workspace and making it biophilic. We will answer all of your queries and guide you on incorporating a biophilic office design.

What Is Meant By Biophilia?

Erich Fromm, a German-born American psychologist, coined the term biophilia in his book The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness in 1973. He defined it as “the intense love of life and all living.”  An American biologist Edward O. later used the term and named his book after it in 1984. He said in his book that we humans need nature, and we are drawn toward it, and this is the basic core of the biophilic office case study.


Have you ever wondered why places abundant with nature prioritize people looking for a place to relax during their vacations? People tend to go to such sites because of their built-in affinity to connect with nature and different life forms. We are happier when we are close to our roots and natural life.

What is a good Biophilic Design?

To learn how to make your workspace biophilic, you first need to understand the true meaning of a biophilic design. To make any indoor space biophilic, you need to be close to nature. Even the most minor additions can change the perception of your indoor space in the occupants’ minds. We will talk about these minor additions in detail later in the article. First, let’s talk about the necessary things for an excellent biophilic design.

1. Natural Lighting

Light is your best friend when making any indoor space biophilic. You might have noticed that you are better when present in brightly lit places than in poorly lit areas. If you are designing a biophilic office space, you need to maximize the natural light and minimize artificial light. Artificial light is one of the critical factors for headaches, eye strains, and mental fatigue due to headaches in employees.

So you need to make sure that you are using the minimum amount of artificial light and utilize the natural light as much as possible. You should uncover any windows that you might have covered or add more windows if that is possible for you. According to a biophilic office case study, if the addition of windows is not feasible for you, you can use warm light hues to imitate the feeling of natural sunlight.

2. Add Greenery

While adding greenery is not everything to a biophilic design, it plays a crucial role. It is impossible to imitate or incorporate nature into any space without adding greenery, as greenery is the fundamental core of nature. Try to add some plants here and there and in every other office corner. Make sure that you choose the plants carefully according to the type of place you are trying to make biophilic.

Your primary concern should be with low-maintenance plants when it comes to workplaces. It is not a good idea to add plants that require care and maintenance into workplaces, and it would be best to add plants like Lady Palm, Peperomia, Peace Lily, etc. These plants are almost impossible to kill and are very easy to take care of, making them the perfect indoor plants.

3. Pay Close Attention to Colors and Shapes

Make sure to use nature’s colors as much as possible. Try not to use very dull colors as they harm employees’ minds. Bright orange or sky blue colors can work great depending on your office. Green is the color of nature, so it would be great if you could use it efficiently to decorate your workspace.

According to a biophilic office case study, shapes play a significant role in creating a biophilic environment in your office. Pay close attention to the bodies of objects you use in your office. If you can use natural things like wood and some rocks, that is a cherry on top. This addition completely follows the rule of bringing outdoors indoors.

4. Make Use of Outdoor Space

Make efficient use if you are lucky to have plenty of outdoor space like balconies, gardens, and rooftops. Give your employees a comfortable seating space to work there if the weather is nice. Fresh air and natural light have a significantly positive effect on the whole environment, and they can increase the productivity of your employees. The good mood of the employees is everything when you are designing a biophilic office space. Natural light, grass, and fresh air can improve the mood significantly.

5. Listen to Your Employees

People tend to like having a choice in everything they do. Listen to what your employees have to say about the type of workspace they want. If they’re going to collaborate in work, then give them a proper space to do so. Ensure that the collaboration area you provide them with is spacious enough and does not feel confined. On the other hand, if your employees think they need a quiet space to work at their maximum productivity, give them a quiet area.

Advantages of a Biophilic Office Space

Humans have significantly progressed in technology in the past century, and we have built cities full of skyscrapers. However, one of the significant disadvantages of this advent is that it has strayed us farther away from nature. We have created these buildings and different industrial and corporate societies at the cost of nature. We have cut down trees and damaged the earth significantly without thinking twice about its consequences.

As a result, people living in urban areas are proven to be more stressed and have higher levels of anxiety and depression. Biophilic design aims to create a space that connects nature with urban advancement. Today, we are seeing more and more buildings that appear green from the outside because plants are growing on their walls and balconies, and the greenery makes the area look like a forest despite its enormous buildings. This is the biophilic urbanism definition.

biophilic urbanism

People today are aware more of this phenomenon, creating more and more buildings with biophilic landscape architecture. Many people still have a major query about biophilic designs: “is biophilic design sustainable?” Biophilia has significant advantages on our minds, our health, and our environment, and some of them are down below.

1. Increased Productivity

It is a fact that with the addition of some houseplants, people feel more creative and more productive. Research from Exter University showed that the employees in an office were 15% more effective when they added some plants into their workspace. On the other hand, a study by the United States showed that a lack of natural light and plants in the workspace was the reason for 10% of employees’ sick leaves. These two biophilic office case studies show how important it is for workspaces to have a biophilic design.

2. Improvement in Air Quality

A widely reported problem in the workspaces is the problem of dry air. Since the air conditioners are always working in offices in most parts of the world, they dry the air. Dry air can significantly decrease the quality of the experience in any area. The addition of a few houseplants quickly solves this problem. They consume CO2 and give us oxygen, and since they also transpire through their leaves, they make the air more humid and welcoming.

3. A Feeling of Satisfaction and Happiness

If your employees work in a dull and gray environment, they can never be happy working there. The atmosphere of every office should be warm and welcoming so that the employees feel content being there. You might have also noticed that you do not feel comfortable working in very dull and dark places. There is a feeling of increased stress, and you are always rushing to go back home. You do not feel comfortable in an unfriendly and unwelcome environment. So, it would help if you made changes to your workspace to make it more biophilic.

4. It Supports the Environment

It sends a great message if you have a carefully designed biophilic work environment. A biophilic workspace helps your employees and has a positive impact on nature. Every new building getting built globally should have a biophilic design to help sustain greenery in our nature. The plantation of some wall climbing plants outside of buildings will also help small birds that have been driven away because of deforestation.

Biophilic Products for Offices

If you have difficulty finding biophilic products to add to your office, do not worry because we have your back. Here is a list of some great effective products for designing a biophilic workspace.

1. Flybold Grass Wall Panel 20” x 20”

Why we love it:

  • Easy to set up
  • Works for both indoor and outdoor applications
  • It is safe to use
  • It is UV protected
Easy to set upThey might have ambiguity in color
Dense and not see-throughCould fade in very hot weather
UV protected

2. GOF 6FT, 8FT, 10FT Conference Table Chair (G11776B) Set

Why we love it:

  • It supports the biophilic design
  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
  • It is water and scratch-resistant
  • It can fit into any work environment
Sturdy designThe colors might be a little different from the picture
Great Build QualityCan be a little tricky to set up
Available in multiple sizes and shapes

3. 12-Pack Vintage 7W ST58 LED Edison Light Bulbs 

Why we love it:

  • It has a vintage look
  • This bulb has a high color rendering index
  • Energy-saving and long-lasting design
  • 360-degree view angle
Emit 850 lumensThey might be too big for Edison Light Strings
They operate at 3000KTheir glass is quite delicate
They can fit into any space

4. Costa Farms Clean Air 3-Pack O2 

Why we love it:

  • It comes with a lightweight 4-inch planter
  • They do not need special maintenance
  • They need to watering once a week
  • A great air cleaner
  • Can tolerate any light
Great Natural Air PurifiersTheir customer support could be improved
They are shipped efficientlyThey might get infested with Gnats
They come with beautiful lightweight planters
Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Is biophilic design sustainable?

Yes. Biophilic design has multiple benefits for environmentally sustainable design. The lack of awareness and the lack of resources to achieve it is today’s major hurdle.

Q2: How to support an inclusive environment?

You can support an inclusive environment by educating the leaders, listening to your employees, and holding effective meetings.

Q3: What is biophilic urbanism’s definition?

The integration of nature into urban life is what we describe as biophilic urbanism.


This concludes our article on Biophilic Office Designs. We hope that the information we provided was helpful to you and that we have answered all the queries you had in mind before. So the key is to take small things into account, like paying attention to the color scheme and shapes of the objects in the workspace. Try avoiding hard corners and make sure that you make efficient lighting and ventilation. Then, and only then, you can achieve an excellent biophilic landscape architecture for your office.