The Benefits of Working Outdoors

Have you ever found yourself staring at your office computer screensaver showing a perfectly green field or a fantastic beach and daydreaming that you were in that scenery in real life? Or perhaps you look endlessly through the window wishing you could escape outside into nature? You might even go out for a quick walk on your break and find that you return to your office more inspired. 

Well, it turns out that your mind might be onto something. Our connection to nature is called biophilia. A lot of companies including Google are incorporating nature into their offices by adopting biophilic design work environments since according to numerous studies it increases work productivity. 

Google’s Green Team Lead Anthony Ravitz stated: “Here at Google, we value feedback and want to make sure people are comfortable and happy, so every quarter we issue a workplace survey to understand how our workplaces, including the biophilic elements, impact the day-to-day lives of Googlers. We’ve found that Googlers with desks closer to windows are more likely to feel that their work environment lets them be more productive and sparks creativity. This feedback reinforces our belief that building design helps reduce stress levels, increase creativity and improve performance, and we’ll continue finding ways to measure and support this.”

As great as this initiative by Google is, it will take a lot of time for all companies to catch on. So, what can we do in the meantime to compensate the lack of bonding with nature at our workplaces? 

This might seem like a no-brainer but how about taking your laptop outdoors? Fortunately, the more digital the world is becoming, the less attached we are to our office desks. Whenever you have an opportunity, grab your laptop and head outdoors to work. Make sure to take a minute or two to connect with the environment, lay down in the grass and gaze at the sky. It will help your mind acknowledge and adjust to its surroundings and stimulate motivation.  Although we have become accustomed to thinking the contrary, our natural habitat is outdoors. Hence, working outdoors is perfectly logical. It is the greatest office of any human. It raises our cortisol levels (making us feel happy) and reduces our stress. 

Therefore, the next time you feel demotivation and stress from work creeping up on you, try escaping your workplace and go outside!

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