Being around nature is good for you – a number of studies have shown that having contact with the natural environment has a number of benefits for health and wellbeing. These include cognitive benefits like improved attention span, and emotional benefits like an increased sense of wellbeing and relaxation. Being around nature has also been proven to reduce stress, which makes the natural environment especially useful for employees in stressful occupations.
A number of studies have shown that employees who are surrounded by nature in their workplace experience higher levels of productivity. This is why many organisations are making an effort to increase employee exposure to the natural environment.
There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Make sure your workplace has plenty of natural light. Exposure to natural light has been proven to increase employee wellbeing and productivity.
- Provide outdoor areas for employees to relax and recharge. This can be as simple as a bench under a tree or a small landscaped area where your staff can spend time when they need a break from the office.
- Place potted plants around the office, near desks and in meeting spaces.
- Position desks and seating areas so they have a view of the natural environment where possible. Views of nature or even a tree outside the window are going to be more appealing to your employees than staring at a wall or another office building.
- Encourage your employees to take regular breaks and go for a walk at lunchtimes rather than sitting and eating at their desks. Chances are they will come back refreshed and ready for a productive afternoon.
Even if you don’t have a huge amount of outdoor space, creative landscaping and gardening can help you make the most of it and create opportunities for your employees to benefit from the natural environment during their working day.