The benefits of working outdoorsPublished 12.07.18
As humans, we all have a deep-rooted genetic connection to the natural world around us. In fact, our relationship with the outdoors is so powerful, it affects our health and wellbeing, which in turn affects productivity and motivation.
Research by the Journal of Experimental Psychology, found that by adding just one plant per square mile in an office, employees were 15 per cent more productive than those without plants in their workspace.
So, it’s no secret we are subconsciously stimulated by elements of the outdoors when working.
Some businesses have used this to their advantage by allowing employees to work outdoors and below, we’ve listed some of the major benefits this can bring:
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the biophilic design shifts away from old, cubicle style workspaces, to a more open, human-centric approach.
With this in mind, designing an office to have an outdoor area where employees can enjoy more natural light and take in the open views of their surroundings, will naturally invoke positive feelings.
Private outdoor areas within a company’s grounds, or public areas outside office buildings can inspire and soothe the mind, while offering a positive distraction from the desk.
Improve Mental Wellbeing
Being surrounded by greenery and natural materials such as wood and stone, or even water features, has a significant impact on our mental wellbeing and overall health.
Research into the health benefits of working in an environment surrounded by natural elements, carried out by Bill Browning, founding member of the US Green Building Council’s Board of Directors, and Sir Cary Cooper, CBE Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University, found an overwhelming increase to employees’ wellbeing.
Working outdoors was found to reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rates, whilst increasing productivity and creativity.
Free up Space
Allowing staff to work outdoors during certain hours of the day, or just when the weather is nice, will free up desks for the option of hotdesking. This is an effective way for companies to increase growth without extra real estate cost.
Public communal areas can increase the chance of forming links with other departments, or even other companies. Productivity can also be enhanced if the outdoor space offers an area that encourages collaboration.
Brand Appeal & Sustainability
Sustainability can be improved at businesses which implement outdoor working policies. Not only does working outdoors help to act against climate change by reducing the amount of electricity used indoors, but it can also save a business money and make its brand stand out for its sustainability in the minds of consumers and investors.
Overall, by enabling employees to work outdoors, businesses and organisations should see a natural increase in employee health, wellbeing and productivity, while enjoying the added benefit of having the option to utilise free indoor space to boost profitability.