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6 Easy Ways to Create a Biophilic Office

bright open workspace with natural light, plants and yellow accents

6 Easy Ways to Create a Biophilic Office

In busy offices in bustling cities (here’s looking at you, NY!), where skyscrapers loom on the landscape and concrete is the prevailing aesthetic, embracing biophilic design is a must-do! Not only will it breathe new life into your work environment – but give your employees a much-needed breath of fresh air too.

Vertical garden in office space

What is biophilic design? A refresher.

For those in need of a refresher (we touched on biophilic design in our recent workplace wellbeing blog) let us explain. Biophilic design embraces natural elements – bringing the outdoors in, you could say – to create spaces that promote well-being, productivity, and a deeper connection with nature.

Office with open work space

It does this through a focus on natural materials, such as wood and stone; it incorporates features such as nature-themed artwork, living walls and indoor plants, and it maximizes natural light sources – such as large windows or glass walls to improve employee wellbeing and energy. (Even if that simply means effectively framing the view from your building’s window: a beacon of sunshine and blue skies one day, a summer rain storm the next!)

Biophilia is a design principle we at RI naturally incorporate into each of our workplace interior design projects – and an integral part of our new Workplace Retreat design solution for the hybrid work era. To us, biophilia is not just a trend – it’s a design for life. A way of thinking about and designing spaces to create the best conditions and results for both your team and the planet.

Good news is, you don’t need a skyscraper-sized budget to embrace it. Whether you have a big bucks budget for a biophilic design overhaul – or minimal funds for a quick fix, in this blog, we will show you six easy ways to introduce biophilia into your busy city office. Get ready to create your tranquil yet thriving oasis of productivity and inspiration!

1. Frame those outdoor views!

One of the simplest, most effective ways to introduce biophilic design to your office is by creating natural views. Does your workplace have lots of windows? Then maximize their potential by arranging desks and workstations to face them.

Be sure to remove any elements that obstruct your view of the outside, too. We’re thinking plants, books, boxes – general office knick-knacks! Nature views not only provide a calming effect but also enhance cognitive function, reducing stress levels and increasing focus among employees.

2. Bring on the plants

This one is a no-brainer – and a fundamental aspect of biophilic design. As we all know, plants not only add a touch of calming greenery, they also improve the  air quality of a space. 

We recommend choosing low-maintenance plants that thrive in indoor environments with minimal sunlight – bamboo, snake plants, spider plants, succulents and cacti (just be mindful of the spikes!) 

How do you display your office plants? You could create dedicated plant areas, install vertical gardens or even simply encourage your team to personalize their workstations with pot plants.

3. Embrace natural finishes 

Wooden furniture, natural finishes, or stone accents will all contribute to the biophilic atmosphere of an office space. 

Why not think about bringing in reclaimed or sustainable materials, too? All of these design touches will add natural warmth, texture and character to your space.

4. Make a splash with water

The sound of flowing water is calming; the sight, soothing. Which is why it’s such a great idea to consider incorporating water features, such as indoor fountains or aquariums into your workspace. They promote relaxation and can also be used as a focal point to draw your team together. (It’s worth noting that water features do require regular maintenance to keep them fresh and clean.)

If this isn’t possible, you could think about bringing a sense of water into your design through the use of color – either on walls or in fixtures and furnishings.

5. Create calm zones

To fully embrace biophilic design, you should think about creating a dedicated zone where people can relax and recharge their batteries.

You can achieve this by bringing together comfy seating, soothing color schemes, natural lighting, lots of plants or nature-inspired art – even a water feature!

6. Get outside!

Does your company have outdoor space? Make the most of it! A balcony, roof terrace or garden can all be used to great effect. Bring in some comfortable seating and tables so people can work outdoors if the weather is good. All that natural light and fresh air will have an extremely positive effect on creativity, wellbeing and productivity.

Conclusion: Biophilic design is very easy to incorporate, eye-catching and naturally beautiful

In this blog we’ve explored six simple ways to embrace the principles of biophilic design in your workplace – a win-win approach to reconsidering your office layout – for you, your team and the planet. 

Simply remember these six tips to incorporate biophilic design:

  1. Make the most of your natural light and views
  2. Introduce greenery 
  3. Incorporate natural materials like wood and stone
  4. Create quiet spaces
  5. Introduce water features 
  6. Make the most of your outdoor space


We hope we’ve inspired you to consider introducing more natural elements into your own workplace. If you’re looking for further advice and expertise on creating a greener and more natural office environment – through a redesign and build-out – today. We’d love to start the design journey with you. 

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