Benholm Group: The financial impact of biophilic design on the workplace

Benholm Group (1) (1)

In a pioneering collaboration, exhibitor and official plant provider at The Watercooler, Benholm Group partnered with the research and development collaborative PLP Labs to reveal the transformative findings of a year-long study, titled “Reap What You Sow”. This comprehensive scientific study set out to provide a direct link between biophilic design and its financial impact on workplace environments. The findings are set to reshape the way office spaces are designed, with direct implications for businesses’ financial success.

The Study: A Glimpse into Green Transformation

Conducted over 8 weeks within an office meeting room, the study involved five employees navigating three distinct environmental scenarios. From a non-biophilic setup to a typical office environment, the study culminated in an immersive biophilic space featuring plants, natural light, wider window views, natural materials, optimal temperature, and improved air quality.

Office Before
Office After

Joyce Chan Schoof, Sustainability Lead + PhD researcher at PLP Labs, outlined the importance of data in proving the business case for biophilic design, stating, “Without data, we will not be able to prove the business case for biophilic design. We want to make a more direct link upfront to the budget planning stage of the design brief so that companies start having biophilic design in their projects”.

Participants were meticulously monitored through various measures, including questionnaires, interviews, and physical metrics such as air quality, temperature, humidity, light, heart rate, steps, sleep quality, noise levels, and brainwave activity.

Financial Insights:

Enhanced Employee Productivity: The study establishes a direct correlation between biophilic design elements and heightened focus, creativity, and task performance, resulting in a quantifiable boost in output and measurable financial gains for companies.

Reduced Absenteeism: Workspaces embracing biophilic design witnessed a notable reduction in employee absenteeism. The positive impact on mental health and overall well-being contributes to lower absenteeism and healthcare costs, directly impacting the bottom line.

Improved Employee Retention: Biophilic design initiatives create attractive and fulfilling work environments, leading to increased employee satisfaction and retention. This directly translates to savings on recruitment and training costs.

Adrian Byne, Director at Benholm Group, explains, “The ‘Reap What You Sow’ study, conducted in collaboration with PLP Labs, is a game-changer in the field of workplace design. It not only substantiates the positive impact of biophilic design on employee well-being but also provides tangible evidence of the financial benefits for designers and employers alike.”

The groundbreaking research culminated in the ‘Reap What You Sow LIVE’ event at Benholm Group’s head office in Falkirk, where guests had the opportunity to interact directly with the authors, gaining insights and inspiration.

Embracing the Future: A Compelling Business Case

This study offers workplace designers and employers a compelling business case for integrating biophilic design into their projects from the early stages of design, emphasising tangible financial returns associated with creating environments prioritising the well-being and productivity of employees.

For more information on the study and to explore the results in full, visit benholm.com/downloads/reap-what-you-sow-by-plp-labs. Watch highlights from ‘Reap What You Sow LIVE’ here.

Visit Benholm Group at The Office event at The Watercooler and discover how creating plant designs can enhance your workplace. 

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