Participants in the park

In recent decades, the physical and psychological divide between mankind and natural spaces has only increased. For the scientific community, it is urgent to reconnect with nature in order to take advantage from all its benefits that are today measured and recognized.

 

Nature: A string of positive virtues

Sociologists, psychologists, neurologists, all are unanimous on this observation: contact with nature has many positive effects on our health. The list even makes you dizzy: by reducing the stress hormone – cortisol, it relieves anxiety, improves mood and reduces negative emotions (irritability, impatience, boredom, fear …). It improves self-awareness and can even help the grieving process.

Nature, by stimulating endorphins and dopamine production, is also a wonderful way to joy, happiness and pleasure. It improves the quality of sleep, drives fatigue away and increases energy. Scientists have also shown that access to various forms of nature influences the benevolence, empathy and positivism of those exposed.

But nature not only has positive effects on our mental and physical health, it also has real consequences on our relationship to work. Taking some fresh air, being in contact with flora and fauna improves creativity and restores concentration and attention. Some studies speak of 50% increased performance in problem solving, while job satisfaction increases by 40% (*) and absenteeism reduces by 10% (**).

 

Questions and solutions

In order to benefit from all these benefits, it is essential to often observe “nature breaks”. Walking in the forest, playing sports in the open air, gardening, while consciously stimulating your senses: breathing, listening, observing… Taking full advantage of nature is the best way to enjoy its many positive effects.

The work arena has also understood this need to reconnect with natural spaces, which has accentuated with the spring lock-down. In our busy lives, city dwellers and peri-urban people are increasingly seeking breaks. and green spaces.

To improve the quality of life at work, it is therefore necessary to bring nature into the company. Access to natural light through bay windows, vegetation of workspaces, the use of green color or nature illustrations on the walls are easy solutions to put in place. Some companies go further with the construction of greenhouses or urban farms in the city, or the provision of mobile offices such as caravans.

 

Indoor / outdoor meetings: the winning combination

Companies are therefore now looking for flexible workplaces, wide open over nature and offering the possibility to conduct meetings inside and outside. Depending on the season and the objectives, organizing work sessions in the great outdoors is ideal.

A shaded terrace, a green patio, an open-air atrium, an ephemeral terrace by the edge of a lake, or a clearing in the middle of the forest will bring dynamism to your session.

Alternating sessions inside and outside is therefore a good way to fulfill basic needs for more space and breathing time: less pressure, a natural gathering of team members, an environment that encourages physical, intellectual activity and therefore action.

Bringing nature into the professional world, breaking down the internal / external barriers is obviously a win / win equation. By combining productive work, renewed energy and relation to nature, we are obviously on a “working better” path.

The reconciliation of professional life / need for nature is now not only possible and but highly praised by all. The world of tomorrow will no doubt be definitely (re)connected to nature.

(*)  Creativity in the Wild: Improving Creative Reasoning through Immersion in Natural Settings