Creating Outdoor Office Space For Employees
The rapid increase of technology has brought many benefits, but it can’t be denied that it also affected our relationship with nature. With so many gadgets around it seems that a person doesn’t have to leave his apartment at all. Except to go to work, that is. And there it’s the same story.
We’ve become alienated from nature and thus from ourselves. But man can get used to anything, and we did. If you look at the younger generation today, they don’t seem to have a problem with sitting the whole day in front of a computer, typing away and staring at the hypnotizing blue screen. Employers seem happy because the productivity is measured in a time spent in an office chair between four walls.
A day like every other
But can this really be called productivity? If we look at it as managing a tone of daily routine tasks, yes, it can. But in this ever-growing competition routine tasks are certainly not the thing that keeps a company alive. Without new perspectives and ideas, every business sinks sooner or later. Typing your life away inside a cubicle is not productivity but passivity that eventually leads to a burnout. Another young potential slips away unnoticed.
If you want to change this and make your business survive you need to allow your employees to re-connect with their inner nature and find again the ideas that have been trapped in the dark of the cubicle with the windows that won’t open. People are only as healthy as they feel and radiation from digital devices in combination with stale air not helping. Just look at the dead plants on their desks. You can change all this by simply creating an outdoor office space for your employees.
If you enable them to spend their working hours outside it will immediately boost their wellbeing, and productivity and creativity will follow proportionally. Who can have new ideas if life is passing him by, if the sensation of spring, summer, and fall is cut away by a thick concrete wall?
Sleep tight and don’t let the bugs bite
This outdoor office space issue is often overlooked (or rather ignored) and it’s not difficult to figure out why. Everyone who has created a business in their own sweat and tears wants to keep it safe and secure. With all that walls, mazes of corridors, codes and scanning cards it’s far easier to sleep at night. Equipment is safe, employees are monitored and nothing can go wrong. If you try to move all that outside you’ll lose control completely, right? Wrong.
A camera outside is the same as the camera inside. And if you think you’ll need far more security gadgets for this transition just one look at Portcullis website will be enough to put your mind at ease. The variety in means of security today is so vast that every last pen will be safe and sound. Just don’t get carried away with fences and gates – the point is to make your employees feel free and connected with nature.
After all, if they get the chance to express their creativity they’ll want to stay and work. It’s far more plausible they’ll try to escape from that large and suffocating building (through that window that won’t budge). Creating a fully functional working environment is not that hard, especially if you’re aware of the benefits. We’ll get you there, but, first, let’s take this meeting outside.
Every day is a holiday
Have you ever wondered why people love holidays so much? It’s not just going away from work, but being close to nature. Spending time outside restores us because we’re instinctively bounded to nature. We don’t need to go through a photosynthesis, but we’re not supposed to live inside dark damp caves (or should we say buildings?). Where does the energy come from? Certainly not from a protein bar.
Without sun and fresh air we slowly whither just like the plants. We also have roots, and they are outside. If you want scientific terms, sunlight is a very powerful source of serotonin and vitamin D. In plain words, your mood and concentration depend upon it. You have surely noticed that productivity of your workers is increased for some time after they return from a holiday. That’s not because they had a break from work as much as it is about the fact that they have recharged their whole being through sun rays and fresh air. This is precisely what fuels creativity. And now you have the possibility to keep that fuel coming throughout the year.
Explosion of senses
Ideas don’t come on their own, they are always born in contact with our surroundings. In other words, ideas come from variety. People need to have a fresh take on things, a look from a different angle in order to stay productive. This is what leads to new mental processes and enhances productivity.
Inside a cubicle, there are just four angles and it’s quite impossible to have a fresh look because they’re all the same. Staring at these same walls, breathing the same stale air, eating the same fast food, hearing the same typing sound, and touching the same surface – all this blocks our senses which are the means of our perception of the world around us.
If each sense activates a different part of our brain, this means that our brains are just not working. Just one step outside will make those senses explode, creating a firework of ideas. For nature is variety.
Your part of the job
Now that you’ve seen what the benefits of an outdoor office space are, you should know that it’s not enough to let your employees run around the ‛green, green grass of home’. You need to design the space in order to satisfy their working requirements, which is not just security. Yes, we need sun, but we also need shade. If there are not enough trees then provide umbrellas so your employees can stay cool and avoid direct sun rays – vitamin D is good, but everything has its limits.
As for the power sources, power-integrated furniture is the best option. Keep in mind to choose the light color not to absorb heat and don’t get carried away with lawn chairs – it’s not time at the beach and bad posture leads to uncomfortable working conditions. You’ll need some heavy objects to fight the wind, but make sure you accessorize them – spending time in nature doesn’t mean returning to the stone age. Same goes for cleanability – make sure the chairs and tables are easy to wipe off.
And that’s about it. As you can see, there is not really much work to do and the benefits of working outside are numerous. Productiveness and creativity are already inside us, we just need to give them enough space to flourish. And there’s plenty of that space. Nature is all around us and the whole point is just to adapt the space, not conquer it. To allow your employees to grow their roots again and suck the inspiration out., don’t let the concrete walls interrupt the natural cycle of things.
Emily is a business psychologist with a passion for marketing. Researching, exploring and writing is her favorite thing to do. She works as a consultant for Portcullis Australia. Besides that, she loves animals, music, and traveling.