Employees who take their breaks in a green environment or in front of a natural landscape reportedly develop a greater capacity to concentrate and be more productive.
This is, in any case, what the Harvard Business Review asserted in August 2015, based on the conclusions of a study conducted by researchers in psychology from the University of Melbourne. The premise could seem credible in the light of the many companies that have referred to it.
- Google swears by biophilic design to lay out their offices all over the world. This approach is based on creative, imaginative space layout using materials and shapes that express our need to commune with nature (natural light, simulation of phenomena such as wind, floral or plant patterns, etc.). Thus many workstations are near large windows and the shape of their furniture stimulates the senses, reduces stress and improves concentration and creativity.
- In the centre of Seattle, Amazon is building a “biosphere” that will allow employees to work in a five-storey greenhouse where trees and plants from different regions of the globe will be planted. This natural environment should have positive impact on employees’ creativity and encourage interactions between them: “It will be the place where new ideas and innovations will emerge,” stated its Vice President Jeff Wilke. The park is scheduled to open in 2017.
- The start-up KantoorKaravaan in the Netherlands aims to reduce employees’ stress by providing them with mobile offices and meeting rooms in caravans in the middle of the country’s regional parks. Each of these mobile offices set in natural surroundings can accommodate up to 30 people and is equipped with a Wifi connection, overhead projectors, a coffee-maker and a kitchen.
- Since 2010, the headquarters of the Pasona company has integrated a 4,000-square metre urban farm in its Tokyo offices. Employees grow rice, vegetable and fruits during their breaks. Flowers and orange trees also decorate the outside facade of the building, which seems draped in greenery. The architect believes that a green building can change an employee’s viewpoint on daily routine, career choice and personal life. In the offices, tomato plants are hung over conference tables and lemon trees delimit meeting spaces.
- The French start-up Ciel Mon Radis installs miniature vegetable patches on the workplace. These light gardening kits for growing aromatic herbs encourage creativity and interaction between office colleagues in a company.
Header credits : Tomasz Przywecki