Outdoor Offices, the New “must have” Amenity

As corporate environments strive for sustainable excellence and look to attract today’s modern professionals, designers are becoming more creative on how to bring the outdoor environment and corporate culture together. There are several benefits to working outdoors – consider that both temperature control and lighting are free!

Encouraging employees to schedule meetings outdoors can actually save on operational costs. Interested? Read on for tips on how to make outdoor workspaces successful – think Corporate Recess.

Utilize Technology to its Fullest
We are no longer bound by heavy, bulky machines that are attached to the wall. We work in an age that allows us to take our work with us. Celebrate this opportunity by scheduling meetings outdoors. Battery power should provide the juice needed to be productive. Remember that “Corporate Recess” is not intended to be an all day solution – this strategy is most successful when implemented for shorter tasks and supported by the right tools for the job. Bring along your tablet, notepad, or even sidewalk chalk. Keep it simple with things that are easy to transport.

Don’t need a computer? Take a walk. Exposure to the outdoors can restore mental attentiveness, promote productivity and foster creativity.

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Enjoy Flexible Spaces
Rolling overhead doors, pivoting doors to exterior, operable windows, and accessible green roofs offer dynamic environments for employees. Ensure that your corporate getaway space is up for the challenge by using appropriate UV stable, moisture resistant exterior grade building materials.

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Consider the Climate
Spending time outdoors may not be a viable option year round. If weather gets in the way of your plans try bringing the outdoors in – implementing interior plants, and providing outdoor views reduce employee perceived stress and improves overall heath. Many companies are electing to use natural materials on the interior to create a break-away space of relaxation for their employees. This approach allows the use of more ergonomic furnishings, a reliable, controlled climate, and security with all the benefits of going outdoors. Try implementing a living wall, turf flooring, water features and lounge furniture in your office.

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Create Destinations / “Placemaking”
A partition (whether temporary or permanent) can provide a sense of security and privacy that may be necessary if you’re spending more than 10 minutes outdoors. Also provides shade which can help in thermal comfort. Providing a space for this kind of activity avoids the perception of leisure, fosters productivity, and limits distractions.

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Don’t Overdo It
Be logical about the type of work that can be accomplished outdoors. Collaboration, lectures, and brainstorming are great examples of how to restore your mind and stay on task.

Ready to Take It Further?
Consider hosting a yoga class – implement corporate recess – or host an outdoor lunch.

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