How Providing Outdoor Space can have a Positive Effect on Employees’ Mental Wellbeing
In the overwhelming majority of cases, the prosperity of a business is linked inextricably to the well-being of its workers. When workers are healthy, they’re more productive. As such, it’s in the interest of employers to promote policies and provide facilities which promote mental well-being.
Among the most straightforward changes you might make is to include a suitable green space on your premises. Outdoor space, particularly where plants are allowed to grow, can benefit your workers in several distinct ways.
And the benefits aren’t restricted to large, expensive gardens, either: just a small lawn and a flower bed, when paired with the right treated-timber pagoda and seating, can prove its value many times over in the long-term.
Improves air quality
Going out to get some fresh air is something that’s been essential for as long as workplaces have been indoors. In modern times, where air pollution is especially prevalent, the right outdoor space can provide an escape. If you’re running a factory or another indoor space where air quality is an ongoing concern, the value of that escape might be considerable.
Boosts mental health
There’s a long-established link between spending time outdoors and mental health. Human beings are not adapted to sit staring at screens all day; taking even a five-minute break every so often can yield substantial improvements in productivity.
This is even truer when we factor in the role that plant life can play in boosting mental health. Again, human beings are naturally programmed by evolution to feel more comfortable when surrounded by thriving plant life – since green things tend to coincide with abundance and plentiful food and water. So, getting out is something that the mind craves. It doesn’t make sense to try to fight that instinct!
Can improve physical health
The right outdoor space can also be used as a venue for physical exercise. If you really want to make a difference in the lives of your workers, then you might even arrange for activity sessions before or after work, or during lunchtime. There’s nothing like a guided round of yoga, or a jog through the right stretch of parkland, to get you ready to tackle the day. If you want to provide these benefits, then you might even apply for government support.
Happier workers are more productive workers. Having access to outdoor space will also make you less likely to fall ill, or become injured. Thus, workplaces with outdoor space tend to enjoy lower levels of absenteeism and presenteeism.
The long-term benefits of this are difficult to overstate, and they’re not restricted to just a single employee. By showing an interest in worker well-being, you’ll create a culture that workers are happy to participate in. Ultimately, this will make it easier to retain your valuable staff, and to attract new members of the team.