How to increase productivity with biophilic design?


How Biophilic design increases productivity?

With employees spending an average of atleast 40 hours a week in an office, their work environment can have a significant impact on their well being and performance.

Companies lose significantly on revenue every year due to high levels of employee stress, absenteeism, and loss of productivity. As a response, many companies are now using nature in the workspace to improve morale, health, and efficiency.

There are many theories as to why humans enjoy the outdoors and natural light. One of which concerns our inner desire to better connect with nature, and to be more visible to the outside world.

Supporting these concepts, are studies such as “The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace“, by Interface. 

Global Key Findings:

• A third (33%) of office workers say that the design of an office would affect their decision to work at a company.

• Only 42% report having live plants in the office and an alarming 47% report having no natural light in their office.

• Almost a fifth (19%) of respondents report that there are no natural elements present in their office.

• Just under half (47%) of all respondents agree that they have felt stressed in their workplace within the last three months. This finding emphasizes the importance of identifying and enforcing practises that can improve well-being at work – such as biophilic design.

• Two thirds (67%) of respondents report feeling happy when walking into bright office environments accented with green, yellow or blue colors.

• 24% of respondents say that their workplace does not provide them with a sense of light and space.

• 39% of workers felt most productive at their own desk in a private office. Others said they felt most productive at their own desk in an open plan office (36%).

• 28% of respondents report that they do not have a quiet space to work in their office.


For architects, designers and building industry professionals, successful implementation of biophilic design lies in a thoughtful co-creative design process. It is through shared conversation with key stakeholders—often involving workshops and diverse-user engagement—that true understanding of the essence, sense of place, and unified goals of a project can be uncovered and successfully achieved within the framework of biophilic design.

Return on investment on Workplace Biophilic Design

The potential benefits of biophilic design go above and beyond enhancing wellbeing, extending to positive financial impacts for organizations.

For example check The Economics of Biophilia, by Terrapin Bright Green highlighting the potential vast economic benefits of biophilic design.

This report outlines that often nearly 90% of a company’s operating costs can be linked to the people inside the organization when elements such as salaries, benefits and absenteeism are considered.

Also, based on our experience typically employee salaries, benefits, and absenteeism as measured in sick leave add up to 60% of the organization’s annual expenses.

Bear in mind, this number may change from industry to industry and depends on large external factors. However generalisation here means for most technology corporates and companies with desk jobs.

Some studies have linked impact of built environment designed with biophilic approach to have anywhere between a 6–16% people costs.

Say we are much conservative and consider only 3% enhancement of people cost due to biophilic interventions in the built environment.

A simple math and we noticed savings in billions of dollars annually.

Elements of biophilic design

Breaking it down further, we know that there are individual elements of what constitutes biophilic design and are categorized into, Nature in the Space, Natural Analogues and Nature of the Space.

As in the next decade of design, we believe the “save the earth” will be central in everything we create. At Hidecor our commitments to the theme is already evident in some of our past projects.  Let’s talk on how we can design your next workplace, enhance productivity and optimize our efforts to “save the earth” by building greener work environments!

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