Summer is in full swing, and after months of the cold, dreary weather that winter (and sometimes spring) brings, everyone wants to be outdoors. It’s hard to feel motivated to spend a day at the office on beautiful, sunny days throughout the year. But what if people had access to a serene space that let them enjoy the beautiful weather while still being productive?
Over the past few years, there has been a lot of buzz about the idea of incorporating nature into workplace design. According to studies, getting connected to nature at work offers a wide range of benefits, like improved mood, greater creative thinking, reduced stress, and improved productivity. Finding ways to bring bits of the outdoors inside is great, but nothing beats stepping outside to enjoy the real deal. Outdoor spaces are good for productivity but can also be great for fun events like team lunches and allowing customers to relax if they have an early appointment.
Thinking about adding a relaxing outdoor space to your office? Below are a few ideas you can incorporate into outdoor spaces for your practice.
Spending a little time working outdoors can sound like a good idea. But if there is no shelter from the sun, moving outside can be more trouble than it’s worth. Consider including things like sunshades, canopies, and umbrellas, which can help reduce glare on device screens, excessive heat, or sunburns. Whether it is a trellis or a covered patio, providing shelter from the sun ensures comfort in your outdoor area.
Select flexible seating
Consider selecting furniture that can be moved and arranged easily to promote social distancing, different work activities, and privacy. Reconfigurable furniture adds flexibility and versatility to a space. Use outdoor benches, waterproof couches, and tables with bright colors to add a modern touch too. And don’t skimp on extra cushions for one of those long meetings either!
Provide thermal comfort in the outdoor space
You don’t have to make an effort to create a beautiful outdoor space and then use it only when the weather is perfect. Let your employees get the most out of the outdoor space by placing special elements such as fireplaces, outdoor heaters, and extra shade structures when the weather starts to cool down again. This can help modulate temperatures and help people use the space even at times when they might otherwise want to move inside.
Make sure you design the outdoor space to support the use of mobile apps, laptops, and other technology. You will need a strong Wi-Fi signal and plenty of GFCI outlets. This way, the outdoor space can double up as an area to take a coffee or lunch break, or conduct a productive breakout session.
If your commercial property includes a rooftop or a balcony, it can be retrofitted into a garden space. You can maybe grow herbs and vegetables so your employees can eat local and fresh right on your property. Well-planted grasses and flowers can also create a space to attract birds and butterflies.
The area can also be an employee gathering space where they can utilize their leisure time, increasing their workplace satisfaction levels and allowing an escape from the office. And also to spark creativity and improve productivity when they return to their duties.
When employees decide to take their work outdoors for a while, or during their breaks, they are likely to carry their laptops or other devices with them, and obviously, they may need to charge them up to stay productive. The same case applies to your clients too. Hence, you must ensure to place power outlets where people can plug in their phones and laptops in the outdoor space.
Outdoor speakers and lighting provide something a little extra for people and add ambiance to the open space. As with any indoor workspace, you have to consider noise levels, but in the outdoors, you can loosen up a little. This helps to boost your employees’ mental health and gives them the energy to finish up their tasks.
Access to nature and a break in office scenery offers employees a mental and visual breather, helping them refocus and de-stress. At RWE Design Build, we understand how much your employees’ productivity means to you, which is why we are at your service. As a construction management company, we offer a broad range of capabilities that allow us to transform visions, spaces, and ideas into functional realities. Contact us today and we can discuss your project together.