Could you or any of your employees benefit from great outdoor space at work?
In today’s working environment, the economic pressures are high and the demands to succeed are intense. It’s no wonder lunch breaks are slowly becoming a thing of the past for many and adding to stress levels.
Space for employees to remove themselves from staring at their screens and recharge for a moment equals smart business thinking. A breath of fresh air feels like the best thing in the world if you’re bogged down by work. It delivers that much-needed energy boost and clarity of mind – which in turn leads to a more productive workplace.
According to a poll undertaken by hospitality specialist Sodexo and the nonprofit health body Ukactive, 800 British workers they surveyed only took an average of 22 minutes for their lunch breaks.
How employees can benefit
Taking a short break every couple of hours from a tough work schedule helps employees keep in good shape physically, mentally and emotionally, considerably improving productivity.
Spending as little as 20 minutes a day outside can:
- reduce stress
- improve memory and concentration
- restore mental energy
- encourage team building
- improve social interaction
How to Create an Outdoor Office Space
Plants, plants and more plantsFill the space with (you guessed it) … plants. As a business, things can get busy and stressful at times, so the last thing you may be thinking about is tending to green spaces and making sure it looks luscious all year round. Try a low maintenance version of a botanical garden by opting for artificial plants. You can still mix in live plants for the extra wow factor. Grow herbs or vegetables. Or, plant flowers and grasses and create a space that attracts butterflies and pollinators.
SeatingIf you really want to entice employees into using the outdoor space, provide comfortable seating where they can enjoy lunch, take a moment to themselves or even have a catch up with colleagues.
Walking TrailsFor larger spaces with land. A walking trail would be a great way to get out, take in some fresh air and get some vitamin D. For an extra endorphin boost, this could be a great time of the day for a run or team walk.
Outdoor Grilling StationIf you really want to splash out, how about a grilling station? This would make a fabulous way for the team to get together on a Friday afternoon.
With the pressures placed on today’s workforce, it is important to remember that employees need to detach from their screens and take those all-important regular breaks.
Giving employees an opportunity to untether themselves from technology is one more step on the ladder to staff retainment and loyalty.