The Benefits of Bringing the Outdoors into the Office Space
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- Design Tips
It isn’t called the “great outdoors” for nothing. Outdoor space at the office is a trend that is catching on.
Being outside is restorative. The sun and the sights and smells of the outdoors can give energy boosts. Even cooler temperatures can be invigorating.
Allowing employees to work outdoors or head outside for a quick break can recharge the brain. Being outside engages different senses than being in a cubicle, so workspace variety can bring new ideas and increase productivity. Greenery and other natural items can also reduce anxiety and fatigue.
Sunlight is a good source of Vitamin D, something our bodies need. Serotonin, a natural mood enhancer, also comes from sunlight. The sun can lighten up the mood, increase concentration, and make us happier.
But be careful and wear sunscreen if you’re going to be working outside for an extended period of time.
Creating an Outdoor Workspace
In order to get the most benefit from being or working outside, the workspace needs to be able to accommodate both people and technology.
Access to power, wi-fi, some shade, and comfortable and functional furniture can make the outdoor space usable. Furniture that is light in color will help reflect heat and keep it from getting too hot. Keep function in mind for the furniture. Lounge-type chairs might be too casual and will not only promote bad posture, but also laziness.
Wind can also be a problem, as can temperature. Heaters and misters could help with the cold or heat. Accessories can help keep paperwork from blowing away.
Existing break areas might be able to serve double-duty as workspaces, with a few technological enhancements. Not all work tasks are conducive to being outdoors, so an outdoor break space might be a place everyone could use, no matter what their job responsibilities.
Make sure someone cleans the outdoor areas. Nobody wants to work on a dirty table and sit on nasty chairs.
If you have an outdoor space at your workplace, hold some of your meetings outside to take advantage of the positive impacts. If it’s a scheduled meeting, try to tell employees in advance if the meeting will be outdoors in case they want to adjust their clothing choice for the day or bring a pair of sunglasses.
Also, remember the possible distractions that might come from meeting or working outside. It might be noisy from traffic. People might walk by. Birds might chirp. Bugs can bite.
If you want some assistance with creating an outdoor space for your office, the professionals at Beaux-Arts Group can help. We are up on the latest trends and can help you design a space that’s functional, comfortable, and inviting. Contact us today.