What comes in your mind when you think of the perfect office environment? Maybe a cozy, centrally air conditioned space with wooden floors and spacey desks, where the creative team brain storms together, sipping coffee alongside? This is exactly where every office goes wrong.
According to Cambridge’s Encyclopedia of Hunter Gatherers, “Hunting and gathering was humanity’s first and most successful adaptation, occupying at least 90 percent of human history.” That was our very first “workspace”. Although our current workspace hardly resembles our original one, we still crave it. Simply put, we are wired to crave the natural world.
Stephen Kellert, a social ecologist at Yale said “The measure of progress in our civilization is not embracing nature, but moving away from nature and transcending nature and becoming independent of our biology.” Our poor office design is one of the signs that we chose to ignore our biological needs.
The natural environment has a number of biological implications on us. Bringing this environment to our workplace can change the way how we think, feel and work. There are already a substantial number of studies that prove that working in a natural workspace effects the human being in a positive manner.
- Today, studies have proven that the natural environment fosters creative thinking, innovation and attention span. A study in 2005 showed a group of people a couple of photographs after completing a challenging task. Some of these photographs pictured scenic, natural beauty while others were urban areas. The group was assigned another task and the results demonstrated that those who viewed natural scenes performed better than others.
- Natural scenery is known to reduce stress levels, especially at the workplace. The Shinrin Yoku studies in Japan found that walking in a forest environment reduced stress, hostility, and depression while increasing sleep and vigor compared to those who had walked in urban areas.
- Nature also affect our teamwork skills at work. . A California study found that sitting in a natural environment causes more activity in the opioid receptors. This decreases stress levels, allows people to focus on positive memories and form emotional bonds with people around them more quickly.
Have a look at “Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow”. This workplace environment has desks, WiFi, charging stations and a tea wall where workers can pick their own fresh tea leaves. All this comes in a natural, lush green environment.
Now who wouldn’t want to work here?
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