There are a multitude of reasons to explore outdoor workspaces. With ventilation being a key strategy in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, functional outdoor workspaces provide employees with new ways to feel safe at the office, while still getting work done and collaborating and socializing with their peers.
Working outdoors gives employees more choice and control
Throughout the pandemic, employers have been experimenting and implementing a number of changes to their workplaces in order to ensure the safety of employees. Space division, physical distancing and hybrid work schedules have been put into place around the world as companies look to return their workforce to the office safely.
In the beginning of the pandemic, many of us held walking meetings in our own neighbourhoods with co-workers who lived close by, park meetings or beach meetings with clients, and, as things started to open up a bit more, patio coffee meetings or after-work drinks. The consensus was that being outdoors was safer than indoors in terms of virus transmission.
More and more, organizations are choosing to experiment with outdoor workspaces, specially designed to provide the functionality of the traditional workplace, but with access to fresh air and sunshine. This not only helps to discourage the spread of the virus in the workplace, but provides employees with a mental health boost through some good old fashioned Vitamin D.
Embracing biophilic design
Those in the design industry are no strangers to the touted benefits of biophilia. The principle of biophilia puts forth that human beings are innately attracted to the natural world, and nature is in turn important for our physical and mental wellbeing. Biophilic design could be as simple as adding a variety of plants to a workspace, or even a green, or ‘living’ wall. It could also be incorporating natural materials into a design, such as wood.
Taking the office outside is taking biophilic design one step further. Instead of being able to view the great outdoors from a strategically placed window, employees are able to directly experience nature while they work. Providing functional workspaces that just happen to be located outdoors means employees won’t be sacrificing productivity for fresh air.
Best products for outdoor workspaces
You don’t have to resort to balancing your laptop on your knees at a park bench to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors while getting your work done. Solutions like the Extremis AMAi collection offer a functional workspace for any individual, offering both seated and standing height options as well as integrated technology. It may look like a picnic table, but it’s much more than that. Its inherent modularity allows users to add and change components as their needs change.
The Sipario Planters by Nardi are a perfect outdoor space division solution. This modular partition wall system for outdoor use is made of regenerated plastic and contains a self-watering planter, perfect for those of us who occasionally forget to water our plants!
The Emu collection by Coalesse is a long-time favourite. It pairs classic design with functionality, and would look great on a residential patio or an outdoor office space. This line has something for everyone, with a wide variety of lounge chairs, bar stools, tables and accessories.
If you want to spice up your outdoor space even more, one of our new favourite products are these combination heater and outdoor lighting units by Kindle Living. They look perfect in a hospitality setting or anyone wanting to elevate their outdoor workspace.
No matter your outdoor requirements, our team is here to help! We carry a wide range of outdoor furniture solutions, as well as in-stock items, so you’re not stuck waiting on long lead times for your perfect patio. It’s never too early – contact us today to start planning for Spring!