As this blog has pointed out numerous times, purchasing furniture made with reused material is good for an office’s carbon footprint and the general economy of a community. Paying attention to an office’s contents may have added benefits: a new study suggests that natural elements in office design boost employee morale and productivity.

The carpet design company Interface sponsored a “Human Spaces Global Report” to investigate the way that nature and work spaces can be used together. Surveying 7,600 employees from around the world, the report specifically looked at “biophilic design,” which is the construction of buildings to replicate nature for positive human benefits. This can especially be done with plants or natural light, which were among the five things respondents most wanted in their office.

According to this report, these elements led to a 15 percent higher level of well-being for employees working in biophilic design areas, compared to employees who did not work in these areas. It also noted that companies are beginning to realize the necessity of maintaining a connection to nature at work. Even changing the dominant colors of the office could alter the mood of office workers. The report said that yellow, green and white specifically leaves viewers feeling “inspired.”

“Often, we find that our cities and suburbs have been designed in a way that alienates us from nature and degrades the environment,” the report reads. “Biophilic design is a method of designing the places in which we live and work in such a way that satisfies our deep and fundamental need to be connected with nature.”

For both a natural feel in the office and a general sense of better environmental practices, businesses should use green office solutions. With customized locally sourced furniture, a company can create their ideal work environment while limiting waste potential.