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      Go green and change your mood

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      There is now growing evidence that our office environment can have a direct impact on our mental health. It?s no surprise that your job can leave you stressed, but when the office around you acts as a catalyst for such ill health, the longer-term effects could be dangerous.

      Research conducted by Professor Sir Cary Cooper, commissioned by Interface, has linked the effects of poorly designed workspaces to levels of employee wellbeing around the world. Surveying 7,600 people from 16 different countries, the study found that office workers show an affinity for biophilic design.

      Biophilic design is the art of creating a room to reflect elements of nature. It could be the use of green wallpaper, the use of natural light from large windows or even live office plants. When asked, the survey participants noted that natural light was the most important aspect of an office space, yet a huge 47% of us have no natural light in the office at all. Whilst many of us joke about ?needing? a holiday and the chance to bask in the sun, the health benefits of natural sunlight have been proven countless times.

      However, many workplaces disregard employee needs and cut us off from the natural world, so what can be done to improve office design?

      Go Green – The psychological impact of green wallpaper gives employees a boost in creativity and focus, so why not adorn your office in a luscious green pigment?

      Invite Mother Nature indoors – Adding office foliage to desks and meeting spaces could offer multiple benefits, as earlier stated. You could even go one step further and create a beautiful forest wallpaper mural to give your office an enchanting sense of wonder that will instantly boost creativity.

      Shine a light on staff – Of course this is a little trickier for employers to do if the office space they rent doesn?t offer much natural light. Alas, you have to work with what you?ve got. Using glass furniture and mirrors can help to maximise what little natural light you do have.

      Whilst your workplace may not have huge windows that let the light flood in, you can create a space that maximises the low lighting that is available. Think about the way you?ve arranged the desks in your office, could they be closer to the windows? You also may want to think about the colour of your office furnishings. Black may look professional, but it doesn?t exactly create a colourful and motivational environment. White desks or light wooden workspaces could dramatically lift the mood in your office by creating the illusion of a lighter environment.

      Get more inspiration for your office from the blog of biophilic design experts Create A Wall at bit.ly/1GpL5k2

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      Molly Dyson

      Former Editor – PA Life

      All stories by: Molly Dyson