This is Why Outdoor Office Spaces Support Success

2017-11-10T20:13:50+00:00October 19th, 2017|Workplace Design, Wellbeing|

It’s easy to spend your workday typing away, reading emails and staring at a computer screen without pause or a break. While this may seem productive, it can lead to burnout and passivity. To combat disengagement and fatigue, consider working outside. Even in the fall, providing a way for employees to spend time outside can boost wellbeing while transitioning from summer bliss to winter cold.

Here’s how working outside results in healthier and happier employees:

Nature supports employee wellbeing

There’s a reason why people love the beach, look forward to sitting on front porches and go for walks: Being outside restores us. The sun’s rays and a breath of fresh air can give you a boost of energy. Restorative offices incorporate natural patterns and color schemes to recharge and fuel us creatively. Many of today’s workplace designs are centered around biophilia, the theory that humans are instinctively bonded to nature. Researchers at Steelcase studying wellbeing discovered that the presence of nature positively impacted workers and created a healthier workplace. This grounded connection is even stronger when we return to our roots and work outside.

Variety brings new ideas

When you’re feeling uninspired, switching up your view can result in new mental processes and a fresh take on things. If you’re tired of staring at the same four walls, working outside engages different senses, resulting in a workplace that not only supports employee wellbeing but also activates different parts of our brain.

Prepared spaces help productivity

There are a lot of benefits associated with spending time outside. Sunlight is a powerful source of vitamin D and serotonin, which lightens your mood and increases concentration, leading to happier workers.

However, for an outdoor office space to be successful, it must be designed to support today’s workers. If you’re planning on working outside for longer periods of time, you’ll want supportive seating, access to power and some shade. Creating a specific area for long-term working sessions will allow you to stay more productive. Choosing the right furniture to help you stay engaged and focused outside lays the foundation for a better work environment.

Here are some tips for designing an outdoor workspace:

  • Choose power-integrated furniture. There aren’t many outlets found in the wild, so choosing furniture that makes it easy to stay plugged in and fully charged is crucial to being able to work outside.
  • Stick with light colors to minimize the heat absorbed by the furniture.
  • Accessorize with heavy objects to fight the wind and keep papers in check while maintaining style.
  • Ditch the lawn chairs — get seating that’s designed for work. Casual seating can lead to bad posture and uncomfortable working conditions.
  • Keep cleanability in mind and select tables and chairs that are easy to wipe off. Provide shade with trees or umbrellas. There is such a thing as too much vitamin D. Stay cool and safe by avoiding the sun’s direct rays.