How “au naturel” is your office?

As the dark nights draw in, we’re spending less time outside in daylight and more time inside keeping warm and our daily commute happens when whatever little sun we have has gone down or not even risen. Sounds depressing, right? Now couple that with the fact that our lives are also becoming more high-tech in…

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As the dark nights draw in, we’re spending less time outside in daylight and more time inside keeping warm and our daily commute happens when whatever little sun we have has gone down or not even risen. Sounds depressing, right? Now couple that with the fact that our lives are also becoming more high-tech in all aspects of our day, sit on the tube, the bus or just walking down the street, we are warmed by the glow of our smartphone, watch or tablet, absorbed in our own little universe, forgetting our right to connect with nature.

 

So whilst we work hard, whilst we fixate on technology and with days that are shorter and colder, in amongst the rat-race, how can we expose ourselves more to the natural world without working in an environment that feels like the Eden project? The great outdoors nurtures natural creativity, it energises us and provides a far better recharge to your body and mind than any smartphone charge will.

 

Back in the office, where let’s face it, most of us need to be if you are reading this piece and have happened upon this post in a quest to find something better for your office environment. Workplaces need to exist, they need to have a function, that function will differ depending upon who works there and what needs to be achieved, however, in general, the workplace needs to harness creativity, enhance energy and thus convert into enjoyable, functional and successful places to work. An everyday great workspace doesn’t need a slide from floor to the other, a tipi to hold a stand-up scrum or even a kitchen with baskets of fruit and 30 different cereal choices, but it does need more consideration than some potted plants in a quest to create that micro Eden project.

 

When researching the basis for this article it is clear that workplaces are considering nature a lot more, a discipline known as Biophilic Design is emerging…

 

Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed our cities and suburbs in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature. – Architectural designer Oliver Heath.

 

The description is perhaps a little deep for an article from a company that manufactures offices desks, but in essence it is mindset that even without the label of “Biophilic” is part of our everyday lives, connecting with nature and the environment is more widely observed and understood than ever before, big industries know their roles and responsibilities, even we do, our worktops are made from recycled rubberwood trees. On the subject of worktops, why do we think all office desk manufacturers offer wood finishes on their tops and not metal or concrete? Because it is softer, warmer, and a subconscious reminder of our desire, our need to connect with nature.

 

All of this sounds great, some of our industries greatest architects, designers and fit-out companies are amazing at bringing the outside world in, connecting with nature and making the office “au natural”. The same great companies also know that the workplace is a place to work and to do that you need a good solid infrastructure, technology needs to meet the demands of the business and the office furniture needs to meet the demands of the user. ergonomics now comes into play. The study of ergonomics is, in essence, the impact of anything on the human body: sound, temperature and comfort for example. Ergonomics are often linked largely to the furniture we connect with, a highly adaptable monitor arm or a sit-stand desk that allows you to move around. But whether you are engaging with a design practice in your office refurbishment or move or managing it yourself, we must all remember to connect with nature as much as we can, it’s doing its job with or without us, making sure the body and mind are balanced will make for a far better work environment and a far more productive workforce.

 

So, if you want to talk to a furniture manufacturer that understands the ergonomic bit of a balanced workplace design; happens to hold 20,000 workstations in stock, in the UK and is accountable for their role in Biophilic Design process, contact Claremont Centre and ask about our recycled rubberwood tops, our monitor arms, sit-stand desks or even to meet us for a nice cup of green tea…

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