An office’s atmosphere and culture are becoming major selling points for workers. People believe the atmosphere shows that the company pays more attention to what’s being incorporated into the design and layout of their work areas. That means cubicles and more defined work areas are becoming less popular and being replaced with open spaces, more vegetation and easy access to the outdoors.
There are only so many hours in the day, more than half of daylight time is often spent in the office. Adding a little wilderness to you office may just be the smartest move you can do this year. Plants aren’t only good for cleaning the air and pleasant to look at, they can significantly boost employee well-being, reduce stress, enhance moral, and boost a sense of connection.
Creating a space for employees to take their lunch break outside of the office that is still centrally located, is key. Any unused space outside of the office building will do. If you have nothing but a large slab of concrete that appears very dull and depressing, simply dress it up with plenty of potted plants, outdoor furniture, maybe just some chairs with bright and colorful pillows, perhaps a simple water feature as well (just to name a few ideas). These natural elements can transform a drab place into a serene space for relaxing. Adding commercial park benches and picnic tables for employees to take a seat, eat and rest their feet and their minds can be beneficial for workers who could benefit from stepping away from their work, if only for an hour, heck, even fifteen minutes!
Working outside also brings up the concern of weather. For instance, certain weather conditions certainly are not conducive to working outdoors. At other times, a pending project may be better suited to indoor conditions; if a lot of paperwork and files are involved, a windy day or even simply carrying the loads of files outdoors may not be worth the effort. It’s important to have enough indoor workspace available with the option to take work outside.
While employers’ concerns are very legitimate, let’s consider the upside to allowing employees to work outdoors. For one, outdoor office spaces could be located on company property so that employees can still be monitored, rather than a telecommuting option.
Taking walks in nature is another good alternative to lowering anxiety and depression while boosting your mood and well-being. If you find yourself working in an environment where it is very difficult to keep any plants, or what you have just doesn’t feel like enough, try going for a walk on your breaks. Plan a route past trees and forestry for optimal peace.
Remember, your employees are the driving force of your business, and happy employees produce both higher quantity and quality of work. Creating an outdoor space with picnic tables, commercial park benches and natural scenery can go a long way in helping your employees shake their mid-day mindset and get ready to go back into the office — relaxed and recharged.