Biophilic Workplace Design: Bringing the Outdoors In

Biophilic Workplace Design: Bringing the Outdoors In

Biophilia, a theory first popularised over thirty years ago, describes the relationship between humans and nature. It specifically highlights the need we have to feel continually connected to nature. As a response, biophilic design works to enhance the individual’s connection with nature in the environment in which we live and work every day. We spend 90% of our lives indoors, so why not bring the outdoors in?

The inability to connect with nature, see the outside world, or succumbing to the sterile environments of traditional workplaces is known to increase stress and decrease productivity. Biophilic design aims to help remove that stress by reintroducing natural elements into commercial environments.

In 2018 we are seeing biophilic workplace design go beyond living walls and plants. Natural elements are being integrated into the framework of office furniture, natural looking finishes are becoming popular and there is an ever increasing consideration of the environmental impacts in furniture sourcing and production.                                                                      

McGreals’ extensive range, ability to customise and commitment to personalised service allows us to integrate biophilic solutions into any workplace environment. With companies beginning to recognise the impact workplace design has on productivity many clients are opting for biophilic workplace design through the use of plants, natural materials and environmentally sustainable options.

 planter wall


Studies have shown that plants in the workplace clean the air, improve health and most importantly improve efficiency. McGreals is proud to work alongside The Urban Garden, Auckland’s indoor plant hire specialists, who provide beautiful indoor plants for commercial spaces. We can achieve anything from an entire living wall, to individual desk plants. The team will come to your space and evaluate the environment through a number of factors including light and traffic assessment and put together a selection of ideal plants and container options perfectly suited to the needs of your space.

Natural Materials

The majority of McGreals’ suppliers are based in New Zealand and therefore McGreals possess the ability to customize a large amount of our products. This allows us to incorporate natural components such as New Zealand beech and oak into our commercial office furniture selection which ranges from seating and storage to desk and boardroom tables. McGreals products such as Oslo, Ikon, Ebony, and Aspire are all boardroom tables made in New Zealand with a natural wood construction.

Recyclable / sustainable furniture choices

Mcgreals have seriously considered the impact their products have on the environment. As a result a number of McGreals’ products were manufactured with recycling initiatives in mind. These initiatives are based on recycling products at the end of their usable life. One such initiative is the internationally recognised GreenTag - of the world’s most difficult to achieve environmental standards.

Many of our best selling products have been designed to allow for 100% disassembly making them ready for recycling. Task chairs such as the Metro, Diablo and Mentor are at least 80% recyclable, as well as our Neo guest chair, which is 96% recyclable.