The average office environment is not a particularly inspiring place. The rise and rise of remote working has touched on a general distaste amongst the workers of the UK for impersonal cubicles and open-plan offices alike. But in the spirit of promoting positive company culture, businesses can redress the balance by offering spaces that work for employees – and this includes outdoor spaces.
While not directly functional with regard to work, providing a decent outdoor zone can be highly impactful for motivation and productivity. What steps could be taken to create an enhanced outdoor space for your work premises?
Aesthetics are naturally an important consideration when pulling together the outdoor space of your business premises – not just for the enjoyment of yourself and your staff, but also in terms of making a strong and positive impression on visitors and passers-by. Adding greenery is a simple, perhaps obvious but highly impactful way to positively impact both. From the outside, a lush outdoor area is pleasant to look it; from the employees’ perspective, the greenery is a welcome reprieve from the potential stuffiness of the office environ.
Seating and Meeting Areas
Of course, your staff will not get altogether much enjoyment from the space if they are unable to utilise it to its full extent. There should be ample space for colleagues to meet, and purpose-built seating areas to allow full enjoyment of the space you create.
Employees might simply use these outdoor spaces for lunch, but they might also be incentivised to collaborate outside on warmer days. As such, a paved patio space with comfortable seating should be the minimum that you provide. Covered seating would also be an excellent provision, for the smokers on staff (and for those that happen to like the rain).
If you have the space, you shouldn’t limit your outdoor provisions to seating. You have an opportunity to provide something of real value to your staff, that can encourage high morale and motivation in turn. These could be recreational zones for use on breaks, before or after work; a fitness area with outdoor exercise equipment would be a valuable time- and money-saver for employees keeping fit, while an outdoor sports installation like a ping-pong table could be a fun addition that pays dividends.
Sustainability is a virtue which has become much more valuable for businesses to uphold in recent years. The climate conversation has escalated dramatically with the increased incidence of extreme weather events, and there is a large amount of public pressure on businesses to do their part. An outdoor space renovation is the perfect opportunity to signal this virtue, both to your employees and to the local population.
This might be as simple an undertaking as using sustainable and eco-friendly materials for the renovations in question; you might use reclaimed wood as the base material for smoking shelters or covered eating spaces. You could also use sustainable systems as decoration, such as by heavily featuring a water collection system at the centre of your patio.