Working from home has given many of us the opportunity to embrace the outdoors. As we head back into the office and businesses reopen again, it is vital that we maintain this connection to nature. Why is this important? The benefits of being outdoors, and working outdoors, are clear: it boosts energy, memory, and improves our overall physical health while lowering stress levels. Working outdoors isn’t merely a trend, most office blocks are now built with green spaces.
Summer is the perfect time to get in the habit of going outdoors, even when you’re at work. We’ve outlined a few ways you can encourage it in your business and prepare for summer in the office.
Some Covid-19 measures will be with us for a while longer and an outdoor work area can help manage the precautions. First, review your layout indoors to ensure you are following necessary guidelines on social distancing. Include screens to divide work or seating areas and have hand sanitizer at the ready. Working outdoors is safer than indoors and it will help you make the most of the warm weather. If you have an outdoor area, make sure you have outdoor furniture; not only will an outdoor working area be beneficial for you and your colleagues’ health, a more modern setup is a good incentive to get people back into the office.
Set Up A Lush Green Area
Do you have access to an outdoor area at your workplace? Whether it’s a small courtyard or rooftop, you can transform it into an oasis. Benches, outdoor chairs and tables will give your employees a place to work outside, eat lunch together or have meetings. Adding plants is a great way to create a lush, calming area. If you have a smaller space to work with then try a green wall, this will add greenery to your office without taking up additional floorspace. If you are lucky enough to have plenty of room, why not encourage your employees to choose plants together that they would like. It will help them feel like they have a stake in creating their own work environment and a beautiful, modern-looking office will impress your clients. It’s also an easy way to do your bit for the environment by encouraging some biodiversity.
If you can’t set up an outdoor area, that shouldn’t stop you. Take your meetings outdoors and head to a local park or go for a walk around your city. Team building activities can be held outdoors too. If you work in a city, why not take a day trip to the countryside or celebrate the reopening of workplaces with a summer party, we’ve written before on how you could plan one.
Bring The Outdoors, Indoors
When the weather is warm and the sun is out, it’s easy to nip outside on your break for a walk in the sun. Unfortunately, summer doesn’t last forever. To prepare for the colder months, bring a little bit of the outdoors indoors too. Grab some plants or green walls and dot them around the office. Having plants in an office has been shown to boost productivity and happiness! This is also the ideal opportunity for a ‘summer’ clean. After months away from the office, you will have realised there are many things you can work without. Make space for your new plants by throwing away unnecessary clutter.
These are some great ideas for your office, but the best advice is to plan in advance. It is the most popular time for you and your colleagues to take holidays, if you choose to do any of the above activities, make sure your team is around. It’s more important than ever to highlight the benefits of working for your business and working in an office. Not only will it encourage everyone to return, it will also attract future employees, in particular millennials and Gen Zs, who want to work for employers who care about their health and wellbeing.