It’s important that your office doesn’t feel like a cell cut off from the rest of the world. Staying connected to nature and the outside world can have many health benefits and may even help with productivity. Below are just a few different ways to stay connected.
Use natural materials and textures
Too much metal and white gloss paint can make an office feel overly synthetic. Natural materials and textures like stone and wood have been found to be more psychologically calming because they remind us of the great outdoors. Try to find ways to incorporate these types of materials and textures into your office, whether it’s through wood veneer paneling or wooden floors. These could be features to look for when leasing an office, or they could be features you add to your office yourself if you have permission to renovate the space.
Grow indoor plants
Plants provide a fresh source of oxygen, helping to purify the air. They can also liven up a space by literally bringing life to it. Studies show that indoor plants can boost concentration. Consider whether it’s adding a few plants to your office. These could be large plants in floorstanding vases or small plants in desktop pots. Just make sure that they have enough sunlight and that you or a staff member is able to keep them watered.
Let in more sunlight
Getting sunlight exposure throughout the day is important for our mood and for helping to maintain our circadian rhythm. It is also our main source of vitamin D. If workers aren’t getting enough sunlight throughout the day, they could start to become dispirited and tired. This is why it’s important to maximize the amount of sunlight entering your office. Avoid placing obstacles like filing cabinets in front of windows and keep blinds open when it’s not too sunny. If your current office doesn’t have many windows and you cannot install extra windows, you may want to consider looking into a new office space that has more windows.
Let in some fresh air
In the last few decades, it’s become more common for offices to rely on HVAC for ventilation and heat regulation, with some offices not even allowing you to open windows. While it’s true that fresh air is harder to regulate, it can be healthy to let in a natural breeze now and again (provided that your office isn’t based somewhere where the outside air is heavily polluted). Allow employees to open windows so that you can keep a flow of fresh air into your office.
Hold meetings outdoors
You don’t have to do all of your work in the office. On a hot summer’s day, why not take advantage of this by hosting a meeting outdoors? If you have space to congregate outside your office, you could host a meeting here, or you could take everyone out for lunch somewhere that has outdoor seating and host a meeting here. Being outdoors in a new environment will stimulate everyone and could be better for encouraging new ideas.