For some time now, business has been increasingly aware of the impact of the environment on employees’ productivity and wellbeing. The effect of nature on wellbeing has been studied by such notable establishments as the American Psychological Association and Stanford University. One study found that people who work in an office who have a view of nature liked their jobs more, had better health and were more satisfied in their everyday lives. Bringing nature into the workplace can also combat work related stress and illness.
Studies say that exposure to nature is good for wellbeing and has a positive impact on workplace behaviours like creativity, happiness, social behaviour and pro-environmental behaviour. It can also help with restoring our attention; one study showed a forty second view of green roof could restore attention to create better results in logic and reasoning tasks.
The power of nature to restore the ability to pay attention, improve the mood and concentration and staff, reduce stress and blood pressure, can lead to improved productivity and a reduction in sick leave. Therefore, the beneficial effects of nature should be included in occupational health models and also into the design and build of new workplaces (so our smart buildings become even smarter). How can we kick-start the process of getting exposure to nature in our work life? Here’s a few tips:
Encourage people to get out into nature - green spaces near the office, a garden or park near home, the beach or nearby river are perfect spots for breaks or lunch time respite.
Bring nature indoors, plants in the office are a good start or if you have a garden or balcony, try to make the most of it by growing flowers or plants.
Get a bird or squirrel feeder and take in the sights and sounds around you.
Take a meeting outdoors (weather and safety permitting).
Recycling, walking instead of driving, doing a beach clean could all make you feel good whilst doing good.
Engaging with global challenges like sustainability and climate change, alongside supporting our exposure to nature in the workplace, would not only be beneficial for our mental health and wellbeing, but for the environment as well. We’d say that was a win on both counts, nature really does nurture the best talent.
At Allen & York we’ve been delivering sustainable recruitment solutions since 1993 and continue to match purposeful talent with purpose-led organisations in order to grow the green economy and beyond. To find out more about us, or to give us a brief, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01202 888986.