Biophilic design is the latest trend among building developers and business owners. A global initiative to bring employees and office spaces back to nature by incorporating plants, terraces, and other external outdoor office spaces.
We all know the benefits of getting some fresh air and spending time outdoors, yet most of us don’t appreciate the serious impact it can have on our wellbeing at work.
Research by the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that by adding just one plant per square metre within an office, productivity rates amongst employees rose by more than 15%.
So what is the impact outdoor office spaces can have on employees’ wellbeing at work?
The Impact of Outdoor Office Spaces on Wellbeing
This new trend towards biophilic design hasn’t gained traction based on a whim. Numerous studies have shown the importance of working outdoors, due to the human need for natural light and fresh air.
L.L.Bean conducted a survey in 2018 titled ‘Work and the Outdoors’, to discover just how important outdoor working and outdoor office spaces were to their employees. The study showed that 86% of their workers wanted more time to work outdoors, during the workday.
The study also showed them that 82% of their workers desired an outdoor office space, to improve their mental wellbeing.
So we can see that employees desire outdoor working spaces. But do they need them?
Numerous scientific studies have proven the importance of outdoor working hours on mental wellbeing and productivity. Research by Cornell University Professor Dr Alan Hedge backed up the connection between natural light and employees’ wellbeing. His research found that natural light and outdoor hours resulted in a 51% drop in eyestrain and a 63% drop in the incidence of headaches.
The Impact Of Outdoor Office Spaces on Productivity
The benefits of outdoor spaces don’t stop at employees’ mental wellbeing though. Outdoor office spaces can also massively impact employers too.
As we mentioned before, studies have found a significant impact on productivity in the workplace when employees have outdoor working spaces or more natural light and plants in their offices.
Simply by having an outdoor view with plenty of natural light, one study in Sacramento found that workers in their call centre could work up to 12% faster. By investing in outdoor office spaces, employers can directly improve their productivity and, in turn, their profitability.
COVID-19: Rethinking Office Spaces
The pandemic has reshaped the working world, in some cases for the better. After being forced to abandon routines and adapt to new conditions, hybrid working has opened workers’ eyes to the benefits of different working environments.
Research by LogMeIn found that three in ten workers would take a lower salary to land a job with flexibility. The idea of flexible work-life is on the rise and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
The key here for business owners, developers, and employers is to get ahead of the curve with their buildings, by developing outdoor office spaces that meet the growing wellbeing needs of their employees.
Considerations For Your Outdoor Office Spaces
Many developers and architects are under the impression that building outdoor office spaces is costly and time-consuming. The truth is there are so many innovative products out there in 2022, that installing terraces, decking, and external spaces have never been easier.
Adjustable pedestal systems such as those in Buzon’s range enable installers to create the decking and terraces of their dreams in half the time.
Most recently, Buzon supplied and installed the Buzon DPH pedestal system at 245 Hammersmith Road, London. The 10-storey scheme provides flexible office accommodation and exciting new public spaces inspired by biophilic design.
The impact of outdoor office spaces on wellbeing is greater than most people realise. As the push towards hybrid and flexible working grows, developers, business owners and employers need to think about how they can incorporate outdoor working into their buildings and businesses.
If you’re looking to create outdoor office space in your next commercial office development, take a look at the Buzon range of adjustable pedestals to achieve your desired raised external flooring.
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