7 Min. Read
-Setting up a workspace or home office that will keep you inspired, productive and creative is just as important as the work you’ll actually do in there.
Your environment and surroundings have a huge impact on your mood and you actually take subsconsious cues for what to do and feel directly from your surroundings and its characteristics.
This is why it can often be confusing or conflicting to do tasks that we associate with work while we are in our nice cozy homes.
This guide is going to show you exactly how to maximise your productivity and inspire creativity in your home office - using biophilic design.-
Biophilic Design In Your Home Office
Biophilic design taps into the connection between humans and nature, it also has been proven to promote well-being and enhance cognitive function.
While biophilic design a whole entire subject that deserves a deep-dive of its own, this guide is going to give you a summary of the principles and how you can use them to set up your home office.
You can use these core principles of biophilic design we've outlined here to create a home office or workspace that will inspire more creativity and productivity within you.
There are three main categories that you will need to change or set up in your home office to get the perfect nature-lover workspace and to increase productivity.
All of the tips we'll show you today for creating a biophilic home office will fit into at least one of these 3 categories.
The lighting and ambiance.
The layout of the space and objects within it.
The materials and objects themselves.
While biophilic design is partially about creating a space that you enjoy being in, we aren't only going to focus on that side because enjoyment alone will not make you more productive or necessarily inspire you to get creative.
You will need to factor in a few other specifics to really get the most out of your home office for its intended use. So, let’s get into it, here are 9 tips for how you should set up a home office or workspace using biophilic design to inspire your creative productivity:
1. Let Natural Light In:
Natural light has a profound impact on our mood and overall well-being. Whenever possible, position your desk near a window to take advantage of natural light. Not only will it reduce eye strain, but it will also increase your levels of alertness, focus, energy, and improve your overall mood.
If your office lacks sufficient natural light, consider using full-spectrum light bulbs that mimic daylight (about 4500 Kelvin and above).
Avoid the afternoon slump and after-work jitters:
If you have less natural light available, consider using a smart bulb that will connect to your phone via some sort of app or remote where you can change adjust the lighting.
This will allow you to change the light as the day progresses, helping you to both feel more alert in the earlier part of the day, and to wind down towards the end of the work day.
Pro tip: Arrange your desk perpendicular to the window to minimize glare on your computer screen while still enjoying the benefits of natural light.
2. Integrate Indoor Plants:
Indoor plants are an excellent way to bring nature indoors and improve air quality. They have been proven to reduce stress, increase productivity, and enhance creativity. Choose plants that thrive in indoor environments, such as pothos, calatheas, snake plants, or peace lilies.
Positioning Your Plants
Position your plants strategically around your office to create a calming and refreshing atmosphere. For the best effect, get plants of varying size, leaf shape and growth pattern, this will give a nice effect of variety, detail and interest to your eyes, and your subconsious.
Pro tip: When positioning your plants, you can make a ‘cove’ around where your desk will be situated, or have the plants directly in front of you (depending on the position of your desk).
Remember a key part of biophilic design: the notion of Prospect and Refuge:
What is prospect and refuge? Simiply put, prospect and refuge shows how we feel most comfortable and safe in a position where we can take refuge while also being able to prospect our environment - ie keep an eye out on our surroundings from a ‘safe’ positon.
Think of how a cat will like a perch most that is both nestled away but also allows them to gaze over the entire space from her position...
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to put your desk up on a perch. You can position it in such a way that gives you good periferal vision of the room you are in, or of the view outside, all while not feeling as though you are exposed or floating out in the open of the room.
Plants can be a great way to simultaneously create a nook that you can still prospect from.
You can also use open-style shelving. Open shelves will give you the opportunity to be able to see through to the other side without feeling exposed or distracted, and also to feel calm and focussed in your nook without feeling cramped into a box or corner.
3. Use Natural Materials:
The use of natural materials like wood, stone, wool, rattan and bamboo will really evoke a sense of warmth, comfort, and connection to nature. When selecting furniture and accessories for your home office, opt for pieces made from sustainable wood or bamboo.
Consider using maybe a wooden desk, bookshelf, chair or accessories that not only look aesthetically pleasing but also enhance the whole biophilic ambiance you're reaching for. There are plenty of beautiful wooden pieces for your home office to be discovered out there.
Pro tips: Choose a wooden desk with clean lines and minimalistic design to create a grounding workspace that promotes concentration and focus. Use wooden desk storage and other accessories to create a tactile experience with natural materials while you are working.
4. Create a View or Hang Nature-Inspired Artwork:
If your office doesn't offer you a scenic view of the outdoors, you can still bring the outdoors inside through artwork or nature-inspired photographs and artwork.
Hang images of natural landscapes, texture or wildlife on the walls to create a sense of depth and connection to the outside world.
Pro tip: Consider framing and displaying photographs that you have taken during nature walks or trips to remind yourself of the beauty and inspiration found in the natural world in your area.
When you use photos that you have taken yourself, it also will evoke personal happy memories and feelings, think of it as a simple reminder for what you’re working towards.
5. Embrace Biophilic Patterns and Textures:
Introduce patterns and textures inspired by nature to create visual interest in your home office. Consider using wallpapers or artwork featuring floral or botanical designs, landscape scenes, a jar terrarium and use natural textures like woodgrain or stone.
These elements can stimulate your senses and evoke a sense of tranquility, helping to boost your creativity and focus.
6. Add Water Elements or Other Movement:
The sound and sight of water can have a soothing effect on our minds and bodies. How about a small tabletop water fountain or a fish tank for your home office to create a serene and calming atmosphere? The gentle sound of running water can help mask distractions and enhance focus.
Pro tip: Place a small water feature on a nearby shelf or desk, ensuring it is within your line of sight but not directly in front of your workspace (within arms reach) to avoid any potential distractions.
7. Create a Nature-Inspired Color Palette:
Colours have a profound impact on our emotions and productivity. Opt for a colour scheme inspired by nature, such as shades of green, blue, and earth tones. These colours promote a sense of calmness, balance, and focus and can be used for your walls, furniture, decor and accessories to create a harmonious and inspiring workspace.
8. Introduce Natural Scents:
Aromatherapy, unsurprisingly, can also boost your mood, increase focus, and reduce your stress levels (sensing a pattern?)
Use essential oils or scented candles with natural fragrances like vanilla, lavender, citrus, or eucalyptus. These scents can evoke a sense of nature, helping to create a peaceful and energising atmosphere in your home.
9. Remove Distractions & Reasons to Procrastinate:
If your workspace is going to be a room in your home - or even a section of a room, you will have to use some sort of restraint in removing certain objects from that area - at least the ones within your line of sight or sound while sitting at your desk.
If you are trying to get work done, but you have a TV, games console or any object that you associate with a hobby nearby (guitar, football...etc), you are going to come across a lot of times where you will catch yourself listfully glancing over at it and wishing you could be doing that now instead of working. This can sometimes be an urge too hard to resist...
It can make it nearly impossible to stay focussed or motivated on your work if you have constant reminders of what you would rather be procrastinating with right there in front of you.
Of course, sometimes this is easier said than done - if you can hear or see a TV that somebody else in your home is watching for example, you may or may not be able to politely ask them to turn it off while you are working!
By using the principles of biophilic design in setting up your home office, you can quite easilly create an environment that will boost your creativity, inspiration, and productivity all at once - and consistently.
Sidenote - If you find yourself getting stagnant in your workspace, you might want to change around a few things - not necessarily by aquiring different things, rearranging a room can make it feel entirely new again.
Natural light, indoor plants, natural materials and furniture, nature-inspired artwork, and water elements are just a few ways to bring the calming and refreshing benefits of nature into your workspace.
Remember to use natural materials and elements where you can.
Plants, wood or stone decor like desks, shelves, chairs and accessories all help to create a workspace that feels harmonious, is visually appealing to you, and bridges the gap between you and nature.
That is how you set up a home office to foster productivity creativity using biophilic design!
Remember, a well-designed workspace will produce well-designed work.