Hello, Hi & Welcome // Top Tips for Biophilic Offices

Hello, hi and welcome to Liven Group, your one-stop-shop for all things design, furniture and fitting. This first blog post will be a 2-parter, a welcome from us and a little about who we are and what we do, and then a top tips list for introducing biophilia to the workplace.

So, first, Liven Group! We’re a small(ish) team based in Wilsmlow, UK, passionate about bringing spaces to life, whether these are student accommodation, hotels, bars, restaurants, residential developments or workplace environments. Our in house team of designers, estimators, project coordinators and managers all work together to get the best from your project, to work to your brief and exceed your expectations at every turn and deliver your project in a timely manner, at a cost you’re happy with. Take a look at ‘Our Work’ which showcases a small collection of the projects produced so far. Or even better head over to our Instagram, @liven_group which shows the good, the bad and the ugly, how we work and what we get up to on a daily basis.

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PART 2. Biophilia. You may have heard the concept of biophilia being mentioned as a growing (pun intended) trend in office design.  It was first introduced in the 1980s as a scientific field of research about the human connection to nature and how it can improve our health and wellbeing. The recent trend of ‘Living Walls’ is one example of this. I don’t know about you but I am getting increasingly irritated by the “we’ve got a living wall to introduce nature into our office”, then proceeds to show you a mass of green dyed plastic, super-glued to a withered partition wall. It’s 2019 people. We can do better than this. Here are the reported benefits and our 5 Tip Top Tips for introducing Biophilia to your workplace environment…

Biophilic design in offices statistics…

  • Workers in office environments with natural elements report…

    • 15% higher level of well-being

    • 8% more productive

    • 15% more creative

    • Reduced absenteeism

    • Higher levels of engagement

Our Tip Top Tips for introducing biophilia…

  • Actual real-Life Living Walls

    Don’t get me wrong, IKEA FEJKA (find it in the markethall, near the candles and other tat) is an okay alternative for expensive and intricate living walls. Actually, I’m lying to you. It isn’t okay. Please, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t stick this to your office cubicle. Companies like Innerspace do an amazing job with preserved moss, bark and other natural materials. Yes it comes at a cost, but trust me, it’s worth it. Not only does it improve air quality and introduce texture, but aesthetically it looks amazing!

Innerspace: Naturemoss Forest Floor & Birch Bark

Innerspace: Naturemoss Forest Floor & Birch Bark

  • Natural Chaos

    I’ll be the first to admit that I like clean, straight lines, but sometimes this can be too harsh for workplace environments. Chaotic shapes, curves and circles rather than angles and straight lines can add a natural flow to the space, mimicking a more natural environment and improve the dynamics.

Overbury: GVA’s Breakout Area

Overbury: GVA’s Breakout Area

  • Water Features

    Both aesthetically and acoustically, running water adds another dimension to any space. It works in the same way as birdsong. Listening to natural sounds provokes a calming sensation and acts as a natural stress-relief (my ‘work-appropriate’ alternative to a bottle of wine). Productivity and higher morale are also certain to improve. White noise stemming from a functional water feature can facilitate greater concentration and eliminate distractions.

LL Waterfall Design

LL Waterfall Design

  • Natural Materials

    With growing advances in technology, natural materials can be incorporated into office designs with more ease and success than ever before. Wood effect LVT is a cheaper alternative to solid timber flooring, whilst companies like Interface and Milliken are offering carpet tiles inspired by nature. Interface also offer 100% recycled nylon carpet tiles made from discarded fishing nets - create stunning interiors and save the planet at the same time! Wood effect laminates, veneers and nature-inspired wallcoverings are also a sure-fire way to introduce biophilic elements successfully. Furnishings and textiles are also a great way to introduce more texture and natural tactility. Introducing floral patterns or even geometric nature inspired patterns like honeycomb, are an interesting way to lift spaces and bring dated interiors to life. Check out Camira’s Nettle Collection , Hemp Collection and Honeycomb Collection.

Interface: WAG Payment Solutions, Prague

Interface: WAG Payment Solutions, Prague

  • Natural light

    Arguably the most important aspect of any interior is the allowance for natural light. Whether this be via lighting that mimics natural light, or even better, windows and skylights, views onto nature and access to light are essential for a productive work environment. Companies now offer false sky lights which can introduce better light flow and improve spaces, take a look at LED Sky Ceilings for their innovative solutions to such problems!

LED Sky Light

LED Sky Light

We hope we’ve inspired you with our tops tips! Feel free to send us any additional information we might have missed or biophilic workspaces that have inspired you!

Thanks for reading,

Alice x