More businesses should realize that having an outdoor space, one where employees can sit down and relax, is good for productivity and profits.
Paying landscapers for design and maintenance is worth it because there are a lot of benefits that come with being surrounded by the natural environment.
One of those benefits is increased focus. Previous studies have already found that exposure to nature can help improve attention and productivity.
Studies also show that exposure to pandering greenery is good for the mind, making us more creative and open-minded.
Another benefit of having an outdoor space is increased collaboration. Even if the business isn’t in a collaborative industry, exposure to nature can lead people to think more cooperatively.
Still another advantage is increased happiness, which can lead to improved relationships with customers and colleagues.
With all that in mind, how can businesses utilize their green outdoor spaces? Here are the kinds of activities you could do.
An Outdoor Break Room
For a place to relax, you should have benches or chairs where employees can sit down and take a break from their hectic schedules.
Having seating areas also encourages more socialization between people who might not otherwise interact with one another. This is important in the business world because it helps establish relationships that can lead to improved teamwork.
At the same time, having seating areas outside can lead to increased collaboration. People who need some peace and quiet might opt to stay indoors, but those who are open-minded will go outside and interact with their colleagues.
Meetings Under the Sun
You could also use the outdoor space for meetings. They don’t necessarily have to be anything formal; even a casual meeting can do wonders in improving employee relations.
In fact, having a more relaxed atmosphere might lead people to feel more confident and willing to speak up.
Having an outdoor setting is also great for brainstorming sessions, especially if you want everyone to feel like their ideas are appreciated.
How can outdoor activities improve teamwork? Here’s how: People love opportunities for bonding and fraternizing, and spending time outdoors with each other is one of them.
So whether it’s a barbecue or a picnic, team-building activities are great for supporting camaraderie among colleagues. You can host fun games and challenges that encourage teamwork.
Classes and Lectures
One good way to get people out of the office is by offering classes and lectures. You might not think so, but interesting presentations are great ways to get employees off their butts.
And you can get even more people to come if your presentation is outdoors, so the attendees have a nice view while they learn something new. People are more focused when they’re surrounded by nature, so it’s definitely worth considering.
Gardening With Your Employees
If you want people to really bond with their colleagues, why not teach them about gardening? A lot of people love getting their hands dirty in the garden, and they’ll learn a thing or two from your company if it has an outdoor space.
What better way to contribute to the community than by teaching people about gardening? This is also perfect for bonding, because of the similarities between working in a garden and participating in teamwork.
By the end, you can have a feast with the vegetables and fruits you’ve harvested. It’s a great chance to get people outside and enjoy themselves.
What about encouraging your employees to work out? You could set up an outdoor sports area where people can go jogging or do yoga.
You don’t even have to use the whole space; you can just create a corner for exercising and encourage people to get up and move around. A lot of workplaces are already making their spaces more active, so it’s a good time to jump on board.
At the same time, this will make your company more attractive to potential employees. And it’s always nice for people who want to take a break from their desks and work around other people in an outdoor space. It makes the entire area seem less rigid and formal.
While it might seem like an outdoor space is expensive, it’s really not that bad. For the most part, you can do everything yourself — even if you don’t have any experience with gardening or designing outdoor spaces. Paying for assistance here and there isn’t that much, compared to the difference it’ll make on your employees.
In fact, having a beautiful outdoor space can be a good investment for people who want more from their team.