Increase productivity through nature

by Benay Ozdemir
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Building owners and employers should incorporate nature in its employees’ surroundings, with reports of increased productivity.

Humans are connected to nature, with research outlining the increasing benefits of being surrounded by it. Nature connection is the engagement with nature through senses and immersing in natural surroundings. Benefits of connecting with nature ranges from a mental, physical and emotional stance that allows humans to feel the healthy consequences of spending time in nature. 

In 2016, a survey part of the ‘Human Spaces Global Report’ featured more than 7,600 employees in 16 different countries. The results indicated that employees in environments with natural elements outlined a 15 percent higher level of well-being, and a further six percent improvement in productivity. 

Science demonstrates that incorporating natural elements such as plants, light colours and shapes improves employee performance. 

How can employers incorporate the natural world in the corporate world? 

Increase natural light

Studies have demonstrated that the absence of natural lights and outdoor views can create a negative experience for employees. Over a third of employees feel that they don’t get enough natural light in their workplace. The lack of natural light can also make employees feel tired, with 43 percent reporting feeling gloomy because of it. 

Analyse the building structure and identify windows, placing desks near windows, or a view can dramatically increase employee performance. 

Installing circadian lighting systems that change throughout the day reflecting on the natural movement of the sun can maximise employee experience. 

Incorporate plants and living walls

Plants are visually and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but they also include health benefits. They improve air quality and add colour to an interior space. Having plants incorporated in an office helps to relieve stress, improve cognitive health and increase job satisfaction. 

Living walls can be created for smaller office spaces, more commonly known as ‘vertical gardens’. These feature an array of plants situated vertically against a wall or another structure. Living walls don’t need to be permanent; they can also be made as a mobile product, where employees can relocate the green walls to another location.


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