Top 5 Ways to Design a Greener, Happier Workplace

Studies by NASA indicate that certain houseplants can effectively remove common indoor air pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
The Love Central - Top 5 Ways to Design a Greener, Happier Workplace The Love Central - Top 5 Ways to Design a Greener, Happier Workplace
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Imagine a work environment that not only fosters productivity but also boosts your mood, creativity, and overall well-being.

Studies have shown that incorporating elements of biophilic design, i.e., the connection between humans and nature, can significantly improve employee satisfaction and performance.  

In today’s competitive workplace, creating a greener, happier workplace is a strategic investment. This article explores five science-backed ways to design a workspace that benefits both your employees and the environment.

1. Embrace the Power of Plants

Plants aren’t just for decorations; they’re nature’s air purifiers. Studies by NASA indicate that certain houseplants can effectively remove common indoor air pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, leading to improved air quality and reduced respiratory problems for employees.


  • Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, creating a healthier and more invigorating work environment.

  • Studies show that viewing greenery can lower stress levels and promote feelings of calm and tranquility.

Tips for Plant Integration

  • Select low-maintenance plants that thrive in office environments with moderate light. Consider snake plants, spider plants, or peace lilies.

  • Position plants near workstations and common areas for maximum visual impact and air purification benefits.

The Love Central - Top 5 Ways to Design a Greener, Happier Workplace
Plants are natural air purifiers<br>Image credit freepik

2. Harness the Healing Power of Natural Light

Studies by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) indicate that natural light exposure positively impacts mood, sleep quality, and overall well-being. Employees with access to natural light report feeling more energetic, alert, and satisfied with their work environment.


  • Natural light regulates our circadian rhythm, promoting alertness and reducing daytime fatigue.

  • Natural light exposure has been linked to increased productivity and improved cognitive function.

  • Natural light reduces reliance on artificial lighting, which can cause eye strain and headaches.

Tips for Maximizing Natural Light

  • Use open floor plans and avoid placing furniture that obstructs windows.

  • Strategically placed skylights or light tubes can bring natural light deeper into office spaces.

  • Complement natural light with adjustable task lighting to avoid glare and create a comfortable work environment.

3. Bring the Outdoors In with Biomimicry

Biomimicry, the practice of mimicking nature’s design, is a powerful tool for creating a healthier and happier workplace. Consider incorporating elements like natural textures, water features, and calming color palettes inspired by nature.


  • Studies suggest that exposure to natural elements can lower stress hormones and promote feelings of relaxation.

  • Biomimicry can stimulate the senses and encourage creative thinking.

  • Natural patterns and calming colors can improve focus and concentration.

Tips for Biomimicry in the Workplace

  • Use furniture and décor made from sustainable materials like wood, bamboo, or recycled elements.

  • A small tabletop fountain or an indoor water wall can add a calming sound element and create a sense of tranquility.

  • Opt for calming blues, earthy greens, and warm browns to emulate the feeling of being outdoors.

4. Make Movement a Priority with Active Design

Sitting for extended periods has detrimental effects on health and productivity. Active design principles encourage movement throughout the workday, leading to increased employee well-being and engagement.


  • Active design can help combat sedentary behavior, reducing the risk of obesity, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.

  • Studies show that engagement in physical activity can improve alertness, focus, and memory.

  • Active design often incorporates collaborative workspaces that encourage interaction and movement.

Tips for Active Design

  • Offer the option of standing desks to encourage employees to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.

  • Hold meetings while walking or in outdoor spaces whenever possible.

  • Create dedicated break areas with fitness balls, resistance bands, or yoga mats for quick exercise breaks.
The Love Central - Top 5 Ways to Design a Greener, Happier Workplace
Employees are happier in a sustainable work environment<br>Image credit freepik

5. Embrace Sustainability and Environmental Awareness

Incorporating sustainable practices into the workplace design will not only benefit your employees but also demonstrate your commitment to environmental responsibility.


  • Employees appreciate working for companies that prioritize sustainability, fostering a sense of pride and purpose.

  • Sustainable practices like energy efficiency and resource conservation contribute to a healthier planet for everyone.

  • Implementing energy-saving measures and reducing waste can lead to significant cost savings for your business.

Tips for a Sustainable Workplace

  • Invest in energy-efficient lighting and appliances, and encourage practices like turning off electronics when not in use.

  • Provide readily accessible recycling bins and promote responsible waste management habits.

  • Choose furniture and building materials made from recycled content or sustainably sourced resources.

Conclusion on Top 5 Ways to Design a Greener, Happier Workplace

Creating a greener, happier workplace doesn’t require a complete overhaul. By incorporating the science-backed tips outlined in this article, you can foster a work environment that not only boosts your employees’ well-being but also promotes environmental sustainability.

Note: A happy and healthy workforce is a productive workforce, and a commitment to a greener future benefits everyone.

Employees are the backbone of every organization’s success

Read this article to discover ways to appreciate your employees as an employer.

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