Use the principles of nature in the workplace

Burnouts are a growing problem. No less than 16 percent of the employees have psychosocial issues and this percentage is growing steadily. There is now a sisable stack of research that consistently shows a similar outcome: that the human being is not geared up for our current living and working pattern. People are designed to live in nature, to work with tthe whole body and muscles, breath fresh air, to tell each other stories around the campfire, to sleep when it is dark, and to feed with fresh and seasonal products.

On our way to healthier working

How work is being organised and how people interact in the workplace varies per  workplace. But in general you can say that we move too little, eat unhealthy and that the  working environment is designed unnaturally and doesnt’ allow for a lot of movement. For all of these topics are proven solutions that work. Biophilic design brings the outdoors indoor. And with more workplaces adopting an agile working and open office configuration, it can be translated to creating internal transparencies across once traditional organisation to drive collaboration, integration and foster a sense of belonging.

A further development of biophilia 

At the heart of the ideas are the principles of biophilic design: man and our brains are made to survive in nature. We are looking for shelter, view, living with the seasons, the light gradient and the sounds and forms of nature. The way we react to the environment are deeply rooted in our system. People who have to work in the evening, for example, are already very much helped when the light is much less bleu than during the day. The green of plants for instance proves to reduce stress and increases creativity.

In short: a more natural workplaces will encourage healthier behavior and will help the problems with burn-outs. I will not swipe it away from the face of the earth, but well designed agile workplaces will definaely lead to healthier employees.

From awareness to perfectly designed workstations

More and more research, coming from different disciplines point in exactly the same direction. We cannot deny our nature with impunity. The other side of this conclusion is that there is really something tthat needs o be done in the workplace in practical terms to combat the rising health problems. More green, natural materials, real daylight, healthier food, more exercise as well as break ou spaces have a significant effect.

Of course workplace management consultants focus on awareness, more and more support through research, the development of resources and the broadening of the knowledge. With the aim of a healthier employee and a more natural workplace. 

Check out this video about the new agile and biophilic working environment @ING: