When working in an office or a work from home environment it is very easy to not go outdoors as much as you may want to. After all, for 8 hours of the day you are working at your desk so it can be hard to fit in an hour-long walk in nature, especially after a potentially stressful day.
This is why it is so important as a business owner or decision maker to ensure that you are investing in your teams well being and making sure they are getting an apt amount of time outdoors.
This blog will explain the benefits of making going outdoors a priority in the workforce and how it can improve mental health, productivity and overall engagement.
How Much Time Do Office Workers Spend Outside?
A 2018 research study of 1,000 UK office workers were surveyed and found that almost 40% spend a maximum of just 15 minutes outside, excluding their commute to work, and an additional 22% spend a maximum of 30 minutes outside. (Source: Ambius)
This can have a negative impact on someone's health and wellbeing, such as:
- Difficulty sleeping: Staying indoors can make you toss and turn at night as natural light ‘plays an important role in helping the body maintain a normal sleep-wake rhythm.’ (Source: VinMec)
- Change in Appetite: You can feel more hungry than usual, in fact ‘not getting enough sun exposure can lead to eating more than usual and craving carbohydrates’
- Moodiness: This means that ‘we are more likely to be sedentary and less social, and this tends to have a negative impact on our mood’ (Source: Costal Transformations)
What Are the Positives of Spending Time Outdoors?
There are many positives about being in nature and we here at Carma champion the benefits as we have seen the positive impact of being outdoors first hand at our tree planting days.
- Lowers Your Blood Pressure: Studies suggest that being outdoors for as little as 30 minutes
- Decrease Stress Levels: Being outdoors decreases the stress hormone, cortisol allowing you to have lower levels of stress and anxiety.
- Increases Immunity: A study found that there was an increase in cells that fight infections in people who had been in a forest a week prior.
How Can You As a Business Owner, Do More to Ensure Their Staff Spend Some Time Outdoors?
As we have learnt in this blog, the importance of being outside is something that is essential for office workers to increase their time outdoors, and this is something business owners can prioritise for their workers.
Not only is it good for your employees it is good for your business:
- Enhanced Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills: Research conducted at the University of Kansas demonstrated that exposure to nature can enhance creativity and problem-solving skills.
- Connection with Nature and Purpose: Spending time outdoors allows employees to connect with nature and gain a sense of purpose beyond their daily work tasks.
So what can you do?
There are many ways you can encourage small steps such as adding plants to the office.
You could also introduce one hour a week where you encourage employees to go outside and connect with nature, during working hours.
Another way is to offer them a team building activity in nature. Outdoor team-building activities have been found to strengthen relationships among coworkers and improve collaboration in the workplace. Studies have shown that participating in outdoor team-building exercises, such as ropes courses or tree planting days, can enhance communication skills, trust, and mutual respect among team members.
Not sure where to start looking, what about one of Carma’s tree planting days? The ultimate nature based activity to help boost employee engagement and mental health, whilst helping the environment at once. It is a win-win for your employees and your ESG targets.
In fact, when GoCardless planted 5000 trees in one day to engage their customers in sustainability they said that tree planting days was:
“It was definitely worth the investment in planting trees with Carma. We could have used the same budget to plant remotely or to buy carbon offsets – but the value of the co-benefits to nature or community, working alongside the Green Task Force, and the massive positive impact on our employees speaks for itself. It is a day my colleagues will always remember,” - Ben Knight
Showing that being out in a nature can create positive impact for employees, if this is something you and your business may be interested in you can learn more here.
Or you can book a call and speak to one of our team where they can guide you through what your day would look like.
Doing Good Together,