Updated: Mar 27
Now before you think we’re going all hippy on you, oh wait ...we are. Mostly because numerous studies have shown that being outside, in any capacity boosts the brain and body in ways we may not even fathom yet.
So it’s only natural, see what we did there, that being outside would benefit the office side of life, too.
There’s a couple of obvious ways to implement this in your own office, particularly if the bulk of the work being done by your team is on a laptop or tablet. Hello, mobility!
From general workplace to official meeting, consider moving as much as you can outside. You’d be surprised what kind of renewed energy can be harnessed just by being outside.
Before you start envisioning tree houses and bio-dome offices, we’d like to offer a few simple and easily executable tactics you can do to make the outdoors a tangible options for your small business.
Create an Outdoor Oasis
We know this picture is a little outlandish for the average small business, but it isn't impossible. Either way, trying your best to create an outdoor oasis, with this being the ideal, is a great way to improve the morale and health of your team.
You could start with WiFi'ing up the courtyard. Don’t have a courtyard? What about the strip of lawn that’s only used for mowing? Pop a few benches or camp chairs out there and call it the start of your Outdoor Office Oasis.
Seriously though, all you need is a small patch of land to call the 'office' for the day. Imagine something akin to tailgating, but you're at work! You could even set up some corn hole or other team building type games for employees to play in between work.
The key here is that it doesn't need to be a perfect, literal oasis. Instead, it should be something that is a bit outlandish by the normal standards. Breaking up the tired, boring typical office with something fresh and unique will improve every aspect of your business.
Take a Hike... Literally!
We mentioned meetings, but what about really taking it to the next level? If your company or specific team is small enough, a hiking meeting would be amazing!
Take that boring Friday meeting and make it something extraordinary!Nearly every city has some form of park or outdoor area within 15 minutes, so get out there and use it.
You can go as hardcore as you need for the meeting or the goal you're looking to achieve. You can find a local greenway and just have a chat on the move. Or you could book a retreat where you and your team does some legitimate hiking with meetings throughout your journey.
The energy and creativity you can stir up outside AND moving around? Priceless. Plus your team will love you for it.
Breaking Good: Next Level Office Amenities
As a good business leader, you should be mandating breaks or time for your team to refresh their minds. Why not create ways to get them outside and improve morale along the way?
Encourage your employees get out and walk around, work-free! Perhaps you can facilitate something like gym class for your employees. Not in the more stiff hire a personal trainer to come in the office, but more like fun, care-free time to just have fun. Put a Frisbee or Corn-hole set out in the side yard. Or what about having a different contest each month to see who can make the most free throws; changing up the challenge each month.
Do something wild and different. Be that small business that people are proud to work for. The one where they do crazy events outside and it's actively encouraged to take breaks!
Foster a true break from the office that won’t get anyone penalized and will have positive effects on your team. Plus its hard to argue against team building!
Let the Outside Come In
Think a bit outside the box and work to bring the outdoors, in. Live plants bring a sense of peace and calm, it's a central point to this article after all. But, if creating something outside isn't functional, this could be for you.
What about converting that un-used “storage room” into an indoor garden? Wall-to-wall plants and potted trees, low-lighting and even a wall-mounted fountain could transform a wasted space into the place to be when the office walls come closing in. Best part? Rain, snow, sleet or hail, you’ll always have an escape.
Or maybe you can even go all-in with an office garden? This actually happens to be a fast growing trend for many office based businesses.
Keep your imagination alive and well here and you can come up with something that works for your small business. Just make sure that you keep focused on the idea of creating that indoor "outdoor" space for your team to work!
The link between our brains and nature is evident in nearly every facet of how we work and by harnessing that energy and using it, not as a stand alone idea but together with work. Fostering a sense of mindfulness and “nature breaks” will help keep you and your team focused, creative and thinking outside the box.
We specialize in thinking out side the box (derp!) and our coaches can help you work through ways to improve your team morale in many ways! It all starts with a free consultation!