Four Walls Don’t Define Your Work
Do you need to recreate your environment or work patterns to inspire greater productivity, creativity or even better—a sense of calm and balance?
While technological advancements bring innovative and progressive work environments, the restrictive indoor environment which ties us to these technologies may overwhelm employees and hinder productivity. Yes, technology has revolutionized the way we work, but staring at a computer monitor for eight consecutive hours without any perspectival changes could limit your potential. If these frustrations resonate with you, then consider taking a dose of the only free and unlimited “remedy” available—Nature! This is not to suggest that you throw your computer out the window, quit your job and live in a tree house with a gaggle of friendly birds and squirrels, but rather to consider incorporating a little outdoor TLC in your work life.
Various studies have concluded that the mental fatigue which we all occasionally experience can be restored by interaction with, and exposure to, nature. Providing an effortless escape from the common confines of daily life—a little time outdoors can improve your brain’s ability to process information and realize new ideas or solutions, all while maintaining a balance of stimulation, concentration and mental freedom. A mere gust of wind, whiff of greenery, the sound of birds and views of natural scenery could provide you with a sense of liberation which subsequently heightens mental activity.
You may imagine that an effort to turn your work inside-out calls for preparation comparable to that of a camping expedition; pack food and water, along with shelter and a willingness to temporarily remove yourself from society… but, it doesn’t have to be quite so extreme. Efforts to get outside may be as minimal as eating your lunch under a tree in the sunshine or taking a stroll around your workplace—it all depends on what makes you feel most comfortable. Your own backyard, a nearby park, the outdoor seating offered at a coffee shop or bookstore all conveniently offer a refreshing outdoor setting.
Take advantage of the work activities which don’t require technology; try replacing the conference room with a nature trail and see how walk-and-talk meetings compare. Since the natural setting eliminates nearly all technological distractions and walking is shown to improve brain function, this method may become your new favorite way to brainstorm with coworkers or to connect with clients.
Even the most simplistic ways of incorporating the great outdoors into your work routine are unattainable from time to time. Restrictions which bind you to an indoor work space initially seem to form a dead-end, but there are ways to keep paving forward. By embellishing your space with potted plants, small waterfall fixtures, or even pictures of outdoor scenes, you could simulate a natural scene at your desk. Even having a window within your field of vision is an effective way to get your dose of green.
Whatever sparks your fancy in attempting to refresh your daily work life—stress reduction and improved mental function are a very real benefit to spending a little time with Mother Nature. Whether you host your next office meeting in a park or install a waterfall feature at your desk, taking a step out of the box could prove to be a vital aspect of your daily efficiency.