The past year has been stressful enough for employers not to think about the well-being of their employees. Now that businesses are returning to normal and employees are reporting to their offices once more, it’s time to talk about the importance of creating outdoor spaces for them. It’s important to give employees the opportunity to disconnect from technology, breathe in the fresh air, connect with nature, and refresh their minds. We often feel bogged down by work because we’re stuck inside a cubicle for hours. We spend an enormous amount of time before computers, only having an hour of lunch break to decompress.
A study found out that unplugging from an office setting and connecting with nature has a very positive effect on the mood of the worker. It can actually improve your employees’ relationships with each other. Not to mention, it reduces stress, increases physical activity, builds up teamwork and collaboration, and fosters better interactions. You don’t even need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on creating these outdoor spaces. These ideas should help you come up with a great landscape for your employees:
Rooftop or Balcony Garden
If space is a problem, then a rooftop or balcony garden is the answer. You already have this space, but you have to transform it into something that your employees would like to lounge in. On your rooftop, you can begin by using polycarbonate in building and construction to create a shade for the employees. Here, they can have their coffee, snacks, or simply talk with their workmates. You can choose to grow vegetables, fruits, plant flowers, and grasses. That will attract butterflies and birds, creating a kind of sanctuary there.
You can also create a gathering space of some sorts for your employees. If there’s a cafeteria nearby, you can create a hardscaped patio adjacent to that. Your employees can grab their lunches from the café before sitting outside for lunch. You may want to separate the patio from the office so that it can be a form of escape for your employees. A walkway can connect the office and patio. Make sure there are plants and shrubs along the walkway to make the space more inviting. Taking their lunch outdoors will have a positive effect on your employees. It will fuel their creativity.
If you have enough space for a walking trail, this might actually be the best outdoor space to provide for your employees. The trail can wind throughout your commercial property. The employees can walk or jog through this walking trail. Consider putting benches along the trail so the employees can use them to rest. Again, they can use this space to decompress from the sometimes suffocating effect of being cooped up inside the office. You can also use this walking trail for community events and gatherings.
Instead of holding your office parties inside the office, why don’t you create an outdoor kitchen where your employees can grill barbecue and demonstrate their cooking skills? This interactive element will boost collaboration and teamwork among your employees. They can bond over food, share recipes, and teach each other some kitchen techniques. Aside from the outdoor kitchen, making sure there are a couple of benches and tables where the employees can take their lunches will also be helpful.
What Does This Outdoor Space Need?
To make your employees comfortable, make sure the outdoor space has flexible seating, Wi-Fi access, electrical outlets, and privacy. Those who want to work outdoors should be able to do so since there is Wi-FI access there. A separate router for the outdoor space will help so the signal won’t be intermittent. Electrical outlets should be provided so that they can continue working there even if their laptops’ batteries have run out.
Finally, privacy is the most important thing for the employees. Use plants to create private areas in the outdoor space. Make sure that area is away from pedestrians and the high-traffic areas of the building. Elements that can create privacy outdoors are climbing plants, evergreens, and free-standing walls.
The importance of outdoor space for employees cannot be emphasized enough. Have you ever felt great after working for five hours straight in front of the computer? Imagine employees doing this every single day. They might suffer from physical and mental exhaustion that could lead them to leave your organization. Creating outdoor spaces for them is the best way to show them that you care about their well-being. It will help them achieve a sense of control and balance.