The great outdoors
As more people return to the office, John Clark of Bracken Workspace Plus assesses how outdoor spaces can help organisations thrive in the modern workplace.
I f this past year has taught us one thing in the workplace, it is that employee retention, engagement and happiness is a key factor to the success of a business and there is a growing trend in office design that is more relevant now than ever before.
Bringing the outdoors in is a long-standing design concept and the use of trees, natural colours and finishes and outdoor materials such as stone and unfinished wood make working in an office much more enjoyable.
But whilst bringing the outside in provides real benefits, it is no substitute for actually being outdoors at the office and recent studies have suggested that spending time outside can lead to increased focus and happiness and improved creative thinking and problem-solving.
These benefits can have a dramatic effect on employee engagement, retention and productivity and is the reason why outside spaces at the workplace are becoming such an attractive option for businesses.
We all know that we feel better having nipped out at lunchtime for a breath of fresh air and a break from our desks and that kind of recreational use of outdoor space is certainly valid. But what if employers provided designated areas outside which were weather protected, fully powered and an alternative space for people to meet and work from?
All of this sounds wonderful and if you are an Amazon or Google or Apple then you will have probably already invested millions of pounds transforming parts of your vast workspace portfolios to provide such space. But what if you are one of the six million UK SMEs who may not have the luxury of large commercial campuses, or the deep pockets required to create such inspiring outdoor spaces?
That is where Bracken Workspace Plus come in and as an established and experienced flexible office operator we have reacted quickly to the changing demand of businesses and their employees over the past year.
At our Calls Wharf site we have created a south facing garden terrace that overlooks the river and provides a calm and inspiring area to sit and have a sandwich and decompress for a few minutes, or to meet with a colleague to discuss how to present that tricky new pitch.
At The Tannery we have created an amazing roof terrace with olive trees and planters full of fabulous smelling herbs in which to sit and catch the summer sun with a cuppa during a break or to finish off the first draft of that report without the distractions of the office around you. Our outside spaces are designed to be safe, inspiring, practical and flexible and above all are free to be used anytime by our clients.
The feedback we receive from our occupiers tells us that we’ve made a pretty good decision and even on cooler days we see occupiers donning an extra layer and heading outside.
As we learn to live with a virus that is likely to have a long-term impact on office spaces and how people work, we will no doubt continue to see innovations in outdoor workspaces and here at Bracken Workspace Plus we are proud to have created inspirational settings both inside and out.
If you’d like to take a look at our flexible workspaces and outdoor areas, then please get in touch and we’ll be happy to show you round. We could even have a coffee outside!