Working Outdoors: The Latest Trend?

We have all heard about the benefits of bringing nature into the workspace.  Biophilic design has been trending for quite some time now, my coworker Nives wrote a few weeks ago; “…we are so much more productive when we have access to daylight views or natural elements like plants and live moss walls” in the workplace. With our recent return (finally) to summer-like weather, everyone wants to spend more time outdoors. What if we could spend part of our workday outdoors?? Bringing the workspace outdoors is taking biophilic design one step further and it seems that this trend is really gaining in popularity.

Kirt Martin, from Landscape Forms said this about the outdoor trend to USA Today: "It takes social influencers to get people to change their perspective, and we're seeing that happening". Martin is of course referring to the fact that powerhouses like Apple and Facebook are adapting these cultural practices within their workplace. Their notoriety is far reaching -  leading to organizations across the country to come to us with ‘I want what Apple has!’.

The desire to imitate Apple, Facebook or even Google is justified…many recent studies has touted the various health benefits tied to biophilic design and spending time outside. Benefits range from improving short-term memory, lowering blood pressure and protecting vision to boosting creativity, restoring focus and reducing stress. Simply put, taking a short break in the workday can go a long way in keeping employees healthy, happy and more productive.

From outdoor furniture that can withstand the elements & provide shade to water features & landscaping; outdoor areas can be outfitted as a space that provides a brief respite from our workday or even as a space to work for a few hours (but don’t forget the wifi!).  Providing employees with an opportunity to reconnect with nature at work can boost their productivity, well-being and ultimately a company’s success.  What’s not to like about that!?

Dorene Riley