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July 24, 2018

The importance of an eco-friendly office design

Environmental consequences come into play in every aspect of our daily lives now, and we think it’s time for businesses to step up to the plate and do their bit too. With global brands such as McDonalds now introducing the removal of plastic straws from their restaurants, we have already seen what huge benefits such small differences can make to the environment.
In recent years many offices and business outlets have begun to really realise their own impact on the environment and the importance that a sustainable work environment can have, both on their employee’s well-being, productivity and creativity, as well as the world around them.
So, we have decided to dedicate this blog to all things eco-friendly, and will take you through the top things you can do in your office space to improve sustainability and eco awareness.

An eco-friendly office design would be nothing without the inclusion of biophilic influences
Humans have an inbuilt natural desire to have daily contact with the natural world outside, and it’s been suggested that without this contact people feel disconnected; it’s essential for our well-being, mental and physical health, and productivity.
So, in order for employees to perform to the best of their abilities it’s wise to have office environments that allow for the release of this biophilic need.
Biophilic designs have weaved their way into business outlets in recent years with Marks & Spencer showcasing fabulous foliage walls on the outer of many of their city stores, leading the way for a new greener design process for leading retail brands of their ilk. While this may be too big a step for smaller businesses, they still could take a leaf out of M&S’ book (pardon the pun!) and install green walls inside the offices instead.

As well as foliage walls blurring the lines between the indoors and the green world outside, plants within the work place have been noted to reduce depression by 58% in a study produced by The University of Technology, Sydney.

But what to do about the furniture

When re-designing an office with a mind of creating an eco-friendlier space, try to avoid binning your old desks in order to ship over the shiny new eco-furniture from afar.

The key is to see what can be salvaged from the older furniture and what can be restored – this will save your company money and allow you to flex your creative muscles in the restoration and redesign of your current furniture.

If you need to purchase anything news, always source locally to reduce energy consumption in transportation, and use only non-toxic or recyclable materials in all furniture.

Taking full advantage of architectural design

According to Architecture Now workers in office environments with natural sunlight noted a 15% increased level of well-being, were 61% more productive and 15% more creative in their work environment.

This goes to show that the benefits of a naturally lit office – they’re not only highly rewarding from an eco-friendly office design standpoint, but the impact on workers is astonishing too. So, one thing a new office can take full advantage of is window size and the building’s orientation.

To maximise the benefits of this, many new designers have encouraged large windows and sometimes even full glass panelling along the building to incorporate the outside with the inside office and allowing the natural light of the day to run straight through the building.

In cases where this is not possible, LED bulbs are a perfect alternative, providing bright lighting with very little energy throughout the office.

Are you ready to go green?

We hope you’ve been inspired by our eco-friendly office design and want to live and work more sustainably in the future!
If you’re currently developing a new commercial site that’s in need of a fit-out and design specialist, get in touch with us at Workspace Design & Build and we’ll be able to help you out.
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