Most employees spend an average of eight hours a day in the office. That’s not counting the overtime work they have to do. Imagine being cooped inside the office for a third of the day and then again in the house when you have dinner and spend time with your family. More than 90% of our time is spent indoors, which may be the reason why we’re feeling sickly, lethargic, and unproductive on most days.
Architects, engineers, mental health experts, and medical specialists all agree on one thing: bringing nature indoors has a positive impact on one’s productivity and well-being. Spending eight hours a day inside the office isn’t good for your health, more so now that there’s a risk of respiratory illnesses, viruses, and diseases. It is time to integrate nature into your office design. But forget about the usual ways of adding greenery and painting the walls an earthy tone. Here are some unique ways to bring the outdoors into your office spaces:
Invest in a Greenhouse
A greenhouse on your building’s rooftop will be a welcome addition to your office’s amenities. Normally, a garden is a perfect idea to incorporate nature into your office culture. However, seeing as climate change is wreaking havoc on the normal climate and temperature, organizations need to be creative in finding ways for their workers to access public parks and gardens. The great thing about a greenhouse is that it’s available all year round. By caring for plants that grow all-year-long, your employees will always have access to greenery even in the dead of winter.
Yes, there’s also a cold-climate greenhouse for sustainable growing. Integrating this facility into your office building will allow your employees to surround themselves with plants, shrubs, and flowers even during winter. You can even put up some benches inside the greenhouse for those who like to sip a cup of coffee or grab a sandwich there.
Use Natural Materials
A lot of office buildings use hard plastic for their furniture and supplies. After all, hard plastic is cheaper and easy to maintain. The best quality plastic can also last for years. Sure, it’s a practical choice, but it’s an unfriendly option, too. Instead of using plastic in your basic office infrastructure, use natural materials such as wood. This will add a natural vibe to your office design. Wood material is also sturdier and more durable. It’s a flexible material that you can use for anything—tables, chairs, cabinets, drawers, organizers, etc.
Just think about how flimsy plastic can be in the long run. They will look cheap and outdated whereas wood always has a natural, elegant, and distinct appearance. It’s value for money.
You wouldn’t normally think about music when integrating the outdoors into your office space, right? Yes, who knew music can be a game-changer in the workplace? Why don’t you make it a habit to blast some meditative nature sounds while you work? Sounds of birds chirping, ocean waves, or the wind have such a huge effect on everyone’s mood. Surprisingly, the same music that puts you to sleep is the same one that will boost your productivity.
Turn on the Scents
Whether it’s from some scented candles or an essential oil diffuser, there’s nothing quite like the scent of lavender, sea breeze, and lemon to remind you of the great outdoors. How about the smell of pine trees especially in the winter? You should feed other senses, too, when it comes to bringing a nature-inspired environment in the office. Musky and woodsy aromas will remind you of the scents of the forest after the rain while the smell of citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges will bring you back to that Caribbean vacation.
Install a Water Feature
A small water fountain in the lobby or reception area will bring a nature-inspired ambiance to the office. It will also muffle the sound usually associated with a busy workstation. The sound of water rushing is therapeutic to workers and clients. It is calming and relaxing. You will find it easier to negotiate deals when your clients feel relaxed and comfortable. Adding a small desktop fountain may even take your mind off your worries. It can be that one spot in your office that reminds you of less stressful moments.
Normally, you would color the walls green and add some plants in the office to incorporate nature into its design. While that is well and good and even effective, igniting the senses—visuals, smell, and sound—will be a big hit to your employees and clients. It will complete the outdoor ambiance you are aiming for.