Take the Workplace Outdoors: 5 Effective Ways to Get Employees Outside and Thriving

Take the Workplace Outdoors: 5 Effective Ways to Get Employees Outside and Thriving

In today's fast-paced work environments, prioritizing your employees' wellbeing and productivity is essential. One effective and accessible way to achieve this is by encouraging them to spend time outdoors. Studies have shown that exposure to nature offers numerous benefits, including improved mood, enhanced creativity, and increased job satisfaction.  

Additionally, exposure to natural light and fresh air can boost energy levels and improve overall mental health, increasing focus and productivity, personally and professionally.

Ways To Encourage Employees To Get Outside

If your employees are in the office

Promote Outdoor Breaks

Encouraging employees to take regular breaks outdoors can significantly impact their wellbeing and productivity. If you are in the office, designate specific outdoor areas, such as a patio or garden, where employees can unwind, relax, or conduct informal meetings. This practice allows individuals to disconnect from their work momentarily and provides a refreshing change of scenery.  

Organize Outdoor Team-Building Activities

Team-building activities are a fantastic way to foster collaboration and improve employee relationships. By taking these activities outside, you provide an opportunity for colleagues to connect in a more relaxed and natural environment. Consider organizing outdoor games, sports competitions, or group hikes. These activities promote teamwork, physical exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. Engaging in such activities outside the confines of the office can strengthen bonds between employees, leading to improved communication, trust, and, ultimately, enhanced productivity.

If Your Employees are Remote

Implement Walking Meetings

Virtual meetings can sometimes feel monotonous and draining, especially after more than one or two per day. Instead, why not incorporate walking meetings into your company culture? Walking meetings involve discussions and brainstorming sessions outside while participants stroll in a nearby park or around their neighborhood. This approach provides a change of scenery, fresh air, and physical activity, which can stimulate creativity and improve problem-solving abilities. In addition, walking meetings boost employee engagement and provide an excellent opportunity to combine work with exercise, resulting in healthier and, therefore, happier employees.

Encourage Lunch Breaks Outdoors

Encourage employees to shut down their computers and take their full lunch break outside. Eating outdoors provides a chance to relax, rejuvenate, and recharge during the workday. Returning to work after an outdoor lunch break often improves focus, creativity, and productivity.

Implement an Outdoor Wellness Challenge

Nothing boosts motivation to get outside and walk like the chance at winning a prize. Instead, try implementing a wellness challenge that encourages employees to get outside to walk, run, or complete a variety of healthy habits like yoga, Pilates, or a HIIT workout. These programs promote physical and mental health and allow employees to learn and develop new skills. In addition, investing in their wellness can help foster a positive work environment that prioritizes employees’ holistic growth and health, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

As organizations seek to optimize employee productivity and wellbeing, it's crucial to recognize the immense benefits of spending time outdoors. By implementing strategies, you can create a culture that shows your employees that their physical and mental health is valued and prioritized.  

If you are looking for ways to encourage your employees to get outside, but don’t know where to start, contact your wellness coordinator today. If you do not have a wellness program with us but want to tap into Wellworks For You’s expertise, click here to schedule a demo with our sales team.    

Kellie O'Keefe
Kellie O'Keefe

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