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Reaping the Benefits: The Financial Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace


Reaping the Benefits: The Financial Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace

In a groundbreaking collaboration, Benholm Group partnered with research and development collaborative, PLP Labs, to unveil the transformative findings of their year-long study, “Reap What You Sow“. This comprehensive exploration into the financial impact of biophilic design on employees within workplace environments is set to revolutionise the way we design office spaces and their direct impact on financial success to that business.

The Study: A Glimpse into Green Transformation

The study, conducted over 8 weeks within an office meeting room, involved five employees working through three distinct environment scenarios. These scenarios ranged from a non-biophilic setup to a typical office environment, culminating in an immersive biophilic space filled with plants, natural light, wider window views, natural materials, optimal temperature, and improved air quality.


Office Before                                                                                                           Office After

Joyce Chan Schoof from PLP Labs emphasises 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 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 saw 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, Marketing Manager 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’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.


About Benholm Group: With over 30 years of experience, Benholm Group takes pride in delivering plant and floral products and services with care and creativity to commercial clients across Scotland and the UK.

About PLP Labs: Operating at the intersection of technology, culture, and space, PLP Labs is a research collaborative investigating possibilities and defining solutions for tomorrow’s cities.