Biophilia – It’s Not What it Sounds Like

October 5, 2017

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How could a few houseplants improve employee productivity you ask? First I will have to explain Biophilia to you

Biophilia Is an inherent connection felt by humans to the living world around them.

So it’s no wonder that the addition of a few plants or raw elements into a room can bolster productivity. The concept of Biophilia was first articulated in a book written by  Edward O Wilson. In his book Biophilia 1984,  He defines Biophilia as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. Being a species, naturally born of this land it makes sense distancing ourselves from nature will have a negative impact. Our connection to nature far exceeds personal opinion and can be looked as part of our biology.

So by implementing these raw and natural aspects of our planet, we can provide a healthier space.  


Implementation of Biophilia in the workspace.


In every workspace, it really comes down to maximizing productivity. The way we do that is to meet personal needs such as organization, social and psychological.  Plants bring life into the room by proving visual and scent-based connections to nature. Furniture made from hardwood or stone tabletops bring a raw feeling to a room which can be very grounding. Designing a room to naturally curve and flow to reflect aspects of nature is key. You see nowhere in nature will you find 4 square walls covered in drywall, it’s just not natural. By bringing these raw materials into space, you stand to reduce anxiety and stress levels.

You can create spaces that naturally draw employees in like lunch rooms or rest areas. By adding natural elements into these rooms you can help stimulate healthy social engagement.  


Have you ever heard the saying stopping to smell the roses? You should try changing to lavender or jasmine instead. Lavender is well-documented for its calming effects. It can even ease insomnia and depression, and jasmine also has shown to boost moods.




When it comes to stone surfaces and the tactile feeling you get from them is very centering. If you have ever been rock climbing or hiking you know the feeling of stone is very old and empowering. It is a symbol of solidarity and perseverance.  In Germany, offices would opt out of heavy color pallets in favor of stone elements. It was these changes that lead them to see gains in employee performance.



Now by no means am I telling you to turn your office into a jungle, It’s all about the right balance.

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