In today’s world, people are spending more and more time outside of the traditional workplace. With the rise of telecommuting and flextime, employees are working from home, in coffee shops, and other public places more than ever. This has led to a demand for better-designed outdoor spaces that can accommodate a variety of activities and needs.
Employers who want to keep their employees happy and productive should consider investing in these spaces. Not only will it make your employees more comfortable, but it can also lead to increased creativity and productivity.
When designing an outdoor space, there are a few things to remember. Here are a few tips:
Get Enough Seating
One of the most important things to consider when designing an outdoor space is ensuring enough seating. Employees will want to be able to sit down and take a break, so it’s essential to have enough chairs or benches for everyone.
To find out how much seating you need, consider the size of your company and the number of employees using the space. You may also want to consider getting a mix of different types of seating. Benches are great for larger groups, while individual chairs are better for smaller groups or people who want to work alone.
Make Sure There Is Shade
With summer temperatures soaring, it’s important to make sure there is plenty of shade in your outdoor space. Employees will want to be able to take a break without being in the direct sun, so umbrellas or awnings are a must. To provide shade, you can also build a more solid structure, like a patio with proper roofing.
If your office is particularly sunny, you may also want to consider planting trees or bushes to create natural shade. Plants can also add some much-needed color and life to an outdoor space. Here are some shade-loving plants that are perfect for the workplace:
- Coral bells (Heucheraa sanguine)
- Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
- Lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantine)
- Mexican evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa)
- Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Include a Variety of Activities
When designing an outdoor space, it’s important to consider the different activities your employees will want to do. Some may want to read, while others may want to play games or listen to music. To accommodate everyone, try to include a variety of activities.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Reading nooks with comfortable chairs and plenty of light
- Game tables for chess, checkers, or other games
- An outdoor TV or projector for watching movies or presentations
- A sound system for listening to music
- Plants and flowers to create a calming atmosphere
Create an Inviting Atmosphere
The goal of outdoor space is to create an inviting atmosphere that employees will want to spend time in. To do this, consider the overall design of the space. Use colors and materials that will make the space feel warm and welcoming.
You should also make sure the space is functional, with plenty of seating and outlets for workers to use their devices. Also, consider the lighting in the space. Make sure it is bright enough to encourage workers to stay, but not so bright that it becomes overwhelming.
Design for All Seasons
If you live in an area with all four seasons, it’s important to design your outdoor space accordingly. In the winter, make sure the space is well-insulated and has heat lamps or a fireplace to keep workers warm. In the summer, fans and misting systems can help keep employees cool.
No matter what season it is, though, always make sure there is plenty of shade and shelter from the weather. Employees should never have to worry about being too hot or too cold when they’re taking a break.
Keep Up with Maintenance
Once you’ve designed the perfect outdoor space, it’s important to keep up with maintenance. This means regularly cleaning the area and ensuring that furniture is in good condition. It’s also a good idea to have a designated staff member who is responsible for maintaining the space. This way, you can be sure that your outdoor space will always be ready for employees to use.
You can also encourage employees to help keep the space clean. This can be done by having a sign-up sheet for volunteers or by offering incentives, like gift cards, for those who help with cleaning.
When it comes to workplace design, outdoor spaces are often overlooked. However, these areas can be crucial in improving employee productivity. By taking the time to design an effective outdoor space, employers can encourage employees to take breaks and rejuvenate, leading to increased productivity in the long run.