With the heatwave in full swing, social media is awash with pictures of people working outside during their work from home days. If you’re based in the office - it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out on the already too brief summer. Some simple switches and creative thinking could transform any available outdoor space you have access to at work.
The pandemic brought with it a trend of outdoor socializing that allowed us to catch up with the rest of Europe. As a consequence, outdoor furniture available to the UK has evolved to give us more freedom in all facets of our life. With even a small space, you can create an outdoor area that suits your team’s needs. Here’s some ideas:
Informal meeting space
Working outdoors is thought to improve stress levels so no wonder it’s a great way to tackle those difficult conversations. Informal meetings are one of the most simple ways to get outside with your team. On really hot days, you might want to give the walking meetings a miss and have somewhere to sit instead.
You can easily create a multifunctional space with a small terrace table and chairs, with a shaded area to protect you from the sun. In winter, outdoor heaters can transform the space to make the cold bearable and a canvassed area can protect you from the light rain.
Board meetings and group sessions
Making use of a larger table and weatherproof chairs can mean more time outside for bigger meetings and group sessions. For creative team meetings, these can be a great source of inspiration as it takes you out of the office and into a different environment, where ideas can flow.
Without the confines of the office or a traditional meeting space, barriers drop and people are much more likely to share openly. This enhances productive discussion as the outdoor space is said to promote feelings of trust, community and goodwill.
With reports that being outside can boost your mood by 20%, giving your team a space to unwind can help relieve the tension of workday stresses. Humans don’t thrive when they have to sit down in front of a screen for 8 or more hours a day. Giving them a space to go to where they can relax during breaks or quiet periods will improve happiness.
Incorporating greenery into your outdoor space will also improve focus restoration by up to 8%. Allowing your team to get outside after finishing a complicated task will help them to recover quicker and focus on what they have to do next.
Working outside boosts energy levels - with 20 minutes of being in the open air said to have as much of a boost as a cup of coffee. Having a few tables and chairs or outdoor benches can provide a quiet working environment that’s away from the business of the office. In addition, a 20% short term memory increase can happen when working in nature. With extra energy, focus and memory - tasks can be completed faster and engagement levels are higher.