Rolling hills, fresh sunlight and the vibrant hues of a colorful coastline—sometimes the best sources of inspiration are outdoors. When it comes to the creation of a comfortable and functional modern workspace, the natural world has a lot of bright ideas.
Creating Employee Satisfaction With Natural Inspiration
Why do people love pictures of nature? Landscape paintings in museums and artsy Instagram posts of vacation scenery alike prove that most people see beauty when they’re in the natural world. This preference for botanical motifs and landscape silhouettes could be the key to one element of employee satisfaction and comfort in the workplace, which in turn plays a big part in how productive and effective a workforce can be while they’re in the office.
It’s not easy to answer the question of why the natural world is so inspiring and aesthetically pleasing, but many have tried. For example, in his 2009 book The Art Instinct, art philosopher Denis Dutton argued that human beings find beauty in the natural world because it sends us signals that are useful for our own health and wellbeing. The image of a landscape dotted with lush, flowering plant life signifies an environment that is healthy and thriving, indicating the availability of the natural resources we need to survive. Whether this is precisely true or not, it gets at an important concept that can be useful for creating comfortable workspaces today. While there is aesthetic value in the purely industrial, sterile, spartan work environments tend be be perceived as less comfortable by employees. Injecting a little bit of nature into the workplace is an effective way to create a more inviting space.
Putting the Concept Into Practice
Celebrating the world around you can be a fantastic way of helping employees feel at ease while also showing who you are as an organization. We embraced this concept for our own headquarters, drawing inspiration from our Southern California surroundings to create a fresh, inviting space that fosters creativity and provides our team with a taste of nature in the absence of an actual outdoor space on the premises.
While large graphic murals of surfers riding an azure wave work well for the cultural tone in our offices, that look may not be right for every organization. But that doesn’t mean that Mother Nature can’t factor into the concepts behind color, material and decor choices. From living walls made from low-maintenance plants to exposed natural wood beams and pops of ocean blue and bright leafy green, there are many different ways to bring the outside world into the office. Even subtle abstract touches of nature can create a surprisingly refreshing feel in a work environment, and that alone can be extremely valuable for helping employees feel more comfortable. Making the office environment feel more like an actual environment can be one part of a complete strategy that focuses on the creation of an ideal space to foster productivity and worker satisfaction.