Stress and Biophilia

Some of the main causes for deficient productivity tend to include absenteeism, loss of focus, negative mood, and poor health.

Stress is the most common reason for long term absence among office personnel – in UK and Ireland findings indicate that stress accounts for 47% of short-term absence and 53% of long-term absence. According to Sainsbury Centre (UK) for mental health 40% of the time the typical worker takes off each year is due to mental health related issues.


The Sick Leave Statistics for the Public Service (Ireland) based upon over 265,000 Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) across the public service and include the Civil Service and the Education, Health, Justice, Local Government, and Defence sectors, reveals the following data for 2017:


  • The rate of sick leave across the service is 4.0%;
  • The number of days lost to sick leave per FTE is 8.8 days
  • The total cost of sick leave across the public service is estimated at €341.5 million.


Whilst the built environment is not always the cause of these stressors, when well-designed, can be a reliever of mental, emotional and physical symptoms. Thus Biophilic design can also provide a complementary strategy for addressing workplace stress and other familiar challenges to health and overall well-being.