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Inviting Nature into the Workplace

Coworking Space Denver

Today’s workspace interiors are slowly moving away from the former windowless cubicles, plain walls, and harsh lighting, as modern workers are choosier about how and where they work. Employees are more reluctant about returning to a stuffy and impersonal workspace.

Coworking spaces are attracting more usage due, in part, to their attractive open floor designs with incorporated natural elements. Larger companies are taking a closer look, reviewing how nature can help improve the office mood and stay current with workplace trends.

People are now drawn to working environments influenced by a closer connection to nature. To lure new talent and their staff back into the workplace, companies are rethinking the layout of their corporate environments and turning to Biophilic Design as a way of enhancing their workspaces.

What is Biophilic Design?

Simply put, biophilic design incorporates elements of nature and natural materials into buildings and communities, bringing people and the outdoors together in a shared space. In environments where greenery and other live features are not practical, biophilic design may rely on the strategic use of colors and architectural shapes mixed with more natural lighting.

Natural Elements 

Recent studies show that people who share their office space with greenery and natural features have higher levels of wellbeing, feel more productive, and notice a boost in creativity. There are several excellent biophilic additions to a workspace that will achieve these benefits.

Greenery gives an instant boost and improves air quality by naturally removing carbon dioxide, producing oxygen-rich air, and absorbing pollutants. Living Walls and small indoor garden areas to add freshness and a splash of color.

– Large windows maximize natural sunlight and enhance views. If security and safety allow, operable windows draw in the fresh air. 

– Architectural features that mimic natural elements add warmth to a workspace. Expose wooden beams and combine with textures like brick and paint tones found within nature. 

– Water features such as small fountains, fish tanks, and ponds add living energy, and the audio aspect enhances relaxation.

Proven Benefits

The addition of even a small amount of greenery can have a substantial and quantifiable impact on worker health and attitude. Mental, emotional, and physical benefits have been linked directly to the addition of natural elements within the workplace. Employees are the first to relate their improved overall performance in a biophilic environment.

Declining stress levels lead to increased motivation, improvement in concentration, and enhanced creativity. Add to that the physical benefits, including fewer stress-related illnesses and quicker recovery times. 

The new trend towards biophilic design is worth the investment to any company and doesn’t need to be large to be effective. The incorporation of natural elements into a workspace provides several definable benefits to both workers and management.

Virtual office spaces like Shift Workspaces are way ahead of the game by using nature and natural elements within their co-working spaces, attracting an ever-increasing number of workers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs through their doors. Large companies and corporations should take note and learn from their example.

About the Author

Grant Barnhill

Grant has been thoughtfully managing, developing and investing in central Denver real estate for nearly 30 years. He is the Founder of Shift Workspaces, a shared workspace community committed to social stewardship, sustainability and an integrated view of commerce. Inspired by extensive foreign travel, each of his projects has honored the local flavor of Denver while weaving in elements of international art, architecture and culture.