Back
Working On Sunshine: Outdoor Workspaces
Jul 02, 2021
776 views

Your property has a better workspace. It has more lighting. Better décor. This is the amazing outdoors. Spending quality time in nature has been proved to improve problem-solving, boost creativity and satisfaction. Any company would profit from this kind of employee improvement. For this reason, the popularity of outdoor workspace amenities keeps rising and has lately been boosted by the COVID-19 outbreak. As the way we work evolves, the demand for an alfresco office area will become a requirement for any commercial building.

Outdoor working is becoming increasingly popular as people return to the office in several regions of the world. Companies are putting in place various measures to help establish secure workplaces – and make employees feel comfortable. As better ventilation becomes an effective method for reducing COVID-19 transmission, outdoor workplaces provide a way for individuals to have the human contacts they need to be effective.

Taking the outside in is a long-standing aesthetic notion, as evidenced by the use of trees in malls and businesses, natural colors and textures, and outdoor components. While pulling the outside in can be helpful, it is no alternative for getting outside. The biophilia hypothesis, which contends that humans have an intrinsic urge to find connections with nature, supports this viewpoint. For a legitimate reason, scientists, architects, designers are increasingly accepting of this concept.

BENEFITS

Improved Creativity

In one study, subjects who exercised on a treadmill indoors had a 60% boost in creativity, indicating a significant rise in their ability to develop ideas. When they expanded the experiment to include the outdoors, the research's creative output skyrocketed. Eighty-one percent of participants experienced better innovative skills. As it turns out, the way many people brainstorm — jammed into meeting rooms — isn't the most successful method.

Focus

Modern offices, particularly open-plan offices, can be pretty stressful. Loud conversations, phones ringing, and distracting emails and texts can make it difficult to concentrate. According to several recent research, the disruptions of working indoors might have a significant detrimental impact on our productivity. Outdoor workstations that are well-designed can help diminish the effect of office distractions and contribute to more outstanding performance.

Engagement and Talent Retention

Working outside can result in higher employee satisfaction, enhanced employee participation, and better employee retention. As per a 2018 survey, American employees between the ages of 22 and 65 spend nearly 95% of their time indoors but 86 percent of respondents would like to spend more time working outdoors.

Problem-Solving

According to one study, individuals who went on a trek answered 47 percent more problems than those who did not go on a hike. While taking a stroll during our workweek may not be the most viable alternative for some, there is evidence that even walking at a regular, reasonable pace might help to open up the creative networks in our brains.

DESIGN TIPS

People who want to work collaboratively have scheduled outside gatherings in parking lots, parks, and other public places. While these outside conferences are a pleasant contrast to tedious video meetings, being productive in a deck chair can be difficult. Business organizations have experimented with outdoor work settings to attract and retain people and promote employee engagement. Still, it is now more critical than ever to help employees work from home again. 

Outdoor workspaces can assist companies in re-establishing a sense of togetherness for employees who have been working from home for several months. Comfortable outdoor gathering places allow people to interact with nature while also relieving stress and combating mental tiredness. Try the following when designing settings that are both comfortable and engaging.

Variety For Different Work Modes

The goal is to avoid becoming enslaved to a single seating option. Try to make the environment more functional for all users by accommodating varied conditions. Allow large and small groups, as well as independent workers, to use this outdoor office area.

Aside from discussions, individual work, and social contacts, you may also use outdoor workspaces for meetings. You may achieve this by offering a choice of seating alternatives. For example:

  • Set hairs of courtyard-style tables in such a way that groups of people can work and collaborate. There is also enough space for everyone to use their laptops, iPads, or notebooks. 
  • Long tables with bench or individual chairs and picnic-style tables are also suitable places to hold a meeting. These places also have the added benefit of functioning as an outdoor meeting room. This adds a gathering place to the mix, relieving the pressure on fully booked indoor conference rooms. While also providing an environment that encourages fresh ideas and creative problem-solving strategies.
  • Bar height tables with individual seats are ideal for solitary users searching for an outside workplace. It is advised that you select seats with a back. They will give better support and comfort for long-term use.
  • Resist using lawn chairs, which can cause poor posture and pain.
  • Benches that allow users to relax are ideal for one or two employees.
  • Square tabletops with bench seating or flat benches positioned facing each other are also excellent places for individuals or small groups to occupy the area.

Flexible Furniture

Another critical factor to consider as part of your design concepts is the permanence of the setup. One justification for mobile furniture is the ability to accommodate varying group sizes. Users can bring up more chairs to a table. Alternatively, push tables together to allow a larger conference. This furniture style is also helpful if space needs to be vacated, used for other functions, or cleaned/maintained. If you choose moveable furniture and may need to store it away, consider this while making your purchase.

Protection 

Shade should be an essential component of your design. It could be natural flora, a commercial choice such as awnings or umbrellas, or even the structure itself that gives shade from the sun. Trying to gaze at a computer screen when outside can be difficult. It is critical to provide some shade for those spots. Foldable umbrellas help clear the space for other activities or throughout the cold months. Something more permanent or with a fixed roof gives the room a clear purpose. These fixtures are also helpful in locations where it rains frequently. The extra security might make the area more dependable and expand when it can be used.

Features

Including amenities in your outdoor work areas will make the space more appealing.

  • When allowed, place seating near a power outlet. It is critical to stay plugged in and powered up to function outside.
  • Water, from giant fountains to small birdbaths, can provide beauty.
  • Planters are excellent choices for adding color or foliage to more urban settings—planters with built-in seating function well in small spaces and city streets. Planters and parasols, for example, can form boundaries and serve as pleasant borders between places.
  • Consider installing fireplaces or heaters to lengthen the use of outdoor areas when the weather cools.

FINAL THOUGHT

The outdoor office, meeting area, or working hideaway is an amenity that will remain a crucial part of most commercial buildings. Using the right design ideas and making wise decorating choices can help you get so much out of this investment. Even if it is not possible to renovate your current workspace to include the outdoors, providing options such as break areas outdoors, encouraging employees to take a stroll, having the opportunity to work outdoors, or simply bringing in outdoor components such as plants and natural daylight – can have a significant influence on employees' focus and concentration, creative thinking, satisfaction, productivity, and morale.