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Business Advice: Creating 4 Nature-Inspired Spaces for Your Employees by Cassandra Lynne

Posted on the 31 July 2013 by Stacie Walker Stacie @staciewalker

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Contributing Author: Cassandra Lynne

If your staff members are anything like the average American employee, they’re spending more than half of their waking hours on work-related activities. Chances are the bulk of those hours are spent in your office.

Don’t you owe it to them to create a work environment that inspires, motivates and — perhaps, more importantly — minimizes stress?

Whether your office is casual, corporate, artsy or contemporary, you can boost productivity and ease workplace anxieties by introducing elements of nature … without interfering with your overall design scheme.

Green plants, for example, are shown to boost patience and enthusiasm for work while reducing frustrations, according to one study.

Try out these four creative ways to incorporate elements of the outdoors into your work space.

Creating 4 Nature-Inspired Spaces for Your Employees

1. Create a relaxation zone. 

If your office is relatively small, as are most small business work spaces, it can be difficult to find space to retreat and re-energize. However, it’s important to step up to the challenge of carving out an area that can be designated as a relaxation zone or a Zen-inspired space.

Choose your location first. It can be your reception area, a seldom-used conference room or even an uncluttered corner.  Create the understanding among your staff members that it will be set apart as a quiet area when possible.  Think of a spa’s waiting area for inspiration. The lighting should be dimmer and softer in this area.

To boost the tranquility factor, consider setting up indoor fountains as accent pieces that are not only eye-catching but soothing. Of course, touches of nature in the form of several smaller plants or one large plant can complete the space.

Implement Nature Artwork for Workspace

2. Transform wall space into a gallery of art. 

More than likely, you already have artwork on your walls. Perhaps your employees are looking at prints of abstracts or still life every day.

Consider switching it out with over-sized images of nature—from beach and forest scenes to close-ups of a Gerbera Daisy, ferns or a Giant Lobelia plant. Studies also show that artwork of nature can have similar soothing effects as real plants.

3. Inspire Zen work-spaces.

Get your employees in on the act of rejuvenating your workspace by giving them creative license and a few bucks to accomplish the task.

First of all encourage individuals to clear their work-spaces of clutter.

If necessary, provide additional storage to allow them to put away items that are not used on a day-to-day basis.  

Next reward them with gift cards that will allow them to purchase small plants, natural wood decor or fresh flowers to decorate their spaces.

Keep work-space organized and green!

4. Properly illuminate your space. 

While not all offices are flooding with natural light throughout the work day, there is plenty that you can do to usher in the benefits of lighting. Consider hiring a professional to help you achieve the best lighting options for various areas of the office.

Take the time to really think through what you want to achieve in your work space, as lighting can significantly influence your employees’ emotions.

It is also important that you select energy-efficient options.

Incorporating elements of nature can have significant payoffs in employee morale and productivity, yet it does not require a significant financial investment.

Commit to giving your employees a more welcoming space by providing them the healing properties of the outdoors.

Image Credits: paul bica,flatworldsedge,ali edwards via Compfightcc

About the Contributing Author:

Cassandra Lynne
Cassandra Lynne is an admin for Good Morning Bloggers, a free service that connects blog owners with talented writers. She has worked in internet marketing for five years. When she's not writing or staying current with marketing trends, she enjoys spending her time outdoors hiking, biking and canoeing. Follow her on Twitter: @goodmorningblog

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