Bringing the outdoors indoors: how a natural working environment increases satisfaction and productivity

How natural working environments can increase productivity
25th November 2016 handh

So the year is quickly coming to a close, the weather is on the change, and as the Game of Thrones saying goes, Winter Is most definitely coming. It’s the time of year where we all wrap up warm, the heating takes a beating, and a hot chocolate was never so appealing (well maybe mulled wine might just pip it).

But we don’t need to worry about the onset of the cold, dark winter ‘cos we’ll be lovely and cosy in our workplaces …or will we?

A recent study has revealed that British offices have won the award for being the coldest, (and ugliest) offices in the world. We don’t know about you, but we’re not going to be celebrating that achievement any time soon.

So what can we do to make our workplaces more welcoming, inviting, and inspiring spaces to be productive?

It actually involves embracing our roots. Millions of years ago, we spent most of our time outside – foraging for food, socialising with others, and searching for natural shelter. Today, we spend most of our time inside. working, watching TV, or browsing the internet on our multitude of devices.

But although that way of life is now clearly an extremely distant memory, we still have an inherent connection with the natural world. Spending time amongst nature relaxes us, improves our mental well-being, and makes us happier. And this can in turn increase our productivity.

Obviously, it’d be a bit of an ask for us all to take our offices outdoors, so why don’t we start bringing nature indoors? In fact, some Scandinavian countries are doing just that, by painting office walls green and even growing plants and flowers to simulate a more natural environment. And they’re experiencing enhanced satisfaction and performance as a result.

Scandinavian countries repeatedly come out on top in World Happiness Reports. Just a coincidence? Maybe. But surely it wouldn’t do any harm to bring a bit of the outside into our workspaces with the potential benefits it could bring?