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Being outdoors is something that makes people feel calm and positive. Recent studies have found that employees that have constant access to outdoor areas, as part of their office space, are more productive and generally feel more peaceful, inspired and positive in their day to day working life. Therefore if you have any outdoor space available to you in your office it is well worth investing a little time and money in order to create a space that you and your staff can enjoy. Follow our simple tips on how to make the most of any outdoor office space you have.
Start With The Foundations
First things first you are going to need to look at what you are working with. Old, mouldy concrete slab floors just aren’t going to cut it, so you are going to need to start with the basics and focus on the floors and walls of the space that you have available. Cover up cracks and paint any walls and think about the type of floor that would best suit your outdoor area. Decking works well in most small, urban, outdoor areas and is easy to maintain. Or perhaps you would prefer to put down some new paving stones or even turf the area so that it feels like a really authentic outdoor oasis.
Make it Safe
The next thing you are going to need to look into is how to make it safe for your staff. If your outdoor space is a terrace up off the ground floor then you are going to need to put in handrail systems around the outskirts of the area to ensure that no one can fall over the edge. Putting in too many complicated steps can also result in accidents so they are worth avoiding (we all know just how common work injury claims are these days). Also if your office is located somewhere where the midday sun gets very hot then make sure you are providing ample shaded areas where employees can enjoy the outdoor space whilst remaining cool.
Maximise Seating Space
There is no point creating an outdoor area and then only having space for a handful of people to be able to sit and actually enjoy it. Therefore the next thing you should be looking at is how you can maximise the seating space to ensure that as many people can enjoy the space together, at the same time. Benches are a great way to integrate practical outdoor work spaces whilst also providing flexible seating solutions.
You can also think about creating a lounging area with comfortable sofas and reclining seats so that staff can really relax in their lunch breaks or whenever they need to take five minutes ‘R&R’. There are a huge range of highly durable, but really stylish outdoor furniture on the market these days that will make your outdoors space not only look really chic but, if looked after properly, will last you for years.
Allowing your staff to actually work in your outdoor area is also a really good idea. Giving staff the feeling of freedom to move around and to work in different locations around the office is a really motivating and positive move. Therefore you should extend your wifi out into the garden area in order to accommodate any staff that wish to pick up their laptops and work in the fresh air for a morning or an afternoon, here and there. Many offices are encouraging their staff to enjoy working in outdoor spaces and the results are proving to be very positive as staff feel more alert, energetic, happier and therefore more productive and motivated.
Use Space for Team Building & Company Events
Once your outdoor space is finished and you have put money and time into making your outdoor office space look as fantastic as possible, you should then start thinking about how you can then make the most of it. Why not organise after work BBQ’s for your staff to encourage your team to spend a little more time socialising and get to know each other better. Or perhaps you could even use this space for team building events or even for training programmes in the warmer months.
Taking that one step further you can even show off your fabulous outdoor office area by organising industry networking events and inviting your clients and partners to come and enjoy an evening with you and your team and treat them to some cocktails and canapes.
Once your outdoor office space is looking great, we are sure that you will have endless ideas of how you can enjoy your new outside area to benefit you, your team and essentially your business.