Make your home or office more biophilic with these greening tips

Boost your WFH productivity with these tips for greening your home office from Amanda Visser, Group Head of Sustainability at The Star.

A small proportion of green thumbs might know what the word ‘biophilic’ means, but for those not born with a spade in one hand and a watering can in the other here’s a brief explanation.

Coined by biologist Edward O Wilson in 1984, biophilia is the innate human need to be continuously connected to nature. From biophilia comes biophilic, explains Amanda Visser, Group Head of Sustainability at The Star, “which is the practical design of nature into our built environments including offices, homes and communities.” 

Creating a workplace (whether that’s in your office or at home) that uses natural light, organic elements and features lots of indoor plants helps to increase productivity and allows workers to concentrate for longer. So how do you transform your home office into a productive oasis? Amanda has provided some tips for creating a space you’re excited to work in.

Get a little biophilic with your workspaces 

“First, the space should pass the ergonomic test to make sure you can comfortably and safely work,” says Amanda. Whether you’re working from home or in the office, pay particular attention to the type of chair you’re using, whether your mouse and keyboard are within easy reach and the height of your computer monitor.

If you can, sit near an open window for some breeze and choose a position with a view – it creates more connectivity to the outside. “The next step,” Amanda says, “is to move some of your indoor plants into the room. Studies have shown that we are more productive when connected to nature, so if you can, try and add some wooden or natural materials into the room.”

Choose the right greenery

According to the study Indoor Plants Work by University of Technology Sydney any green plant will greatly help improve your mood.

“The study shows that 3–6 plants can improve air quality by reducing carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in our immediate environment,” Amanda says.

If you’re having a hard time choosing which plants to adopt, go with the rule: the more foliage the better.

Reap the health and wellbeing benefits from a little greenery

“Biophilic design offers so many health and wellbeing benefits,” Amanda says. “Research has shown us that creating high quality, liveable environments to work in have been proven to increase productivity and concentration”.

Creating a connection to nature, whether that’s by placing an indoor plant on your desk, opening a window for some fresh air or insuring you have natural light, will boost your productivity and make the space feel more comfortable.

“Biophilic design in both the workplace and at home has been found to reduce stress, enhance our creativity and idea generation and improve general wellbeing”.

How the pros do it

“Creating a healthy and productive space was one of our key priorities in targeting a 5-Star Green Star Interiors Rating for our office refurbishment at 60 Union St, Pyrmont, New South Wales,” Amanda says. Additional design features were brought in to make the team comfortable and productive; such as electronic sit to stand desks, proximity to natural light and 1200 plants installed throughout the building.

“We now have the benefits of creating an office that people want to be in that promotes good health and wellbeing.”