Do you ever find yourself looking out the window on a nice Spring day, imaging yourself by the pool or having a cook out? You’re not the only one! It’s actually a natural human tendency to feel called to the outdoors by the sun and blue skies. Believe it or not, our body’s natural habitat is not sitting in front of a computer all day, yet that is where many of us spend most of our time at work. So, if you had the opportunity to work outside, would you? What if you had spaces like these, that were intentionally designed for you to do your job outside?
A budding new trend in the corporate world is functional outdoor work spaces. When you think about it, there really isn’t much about your work routine that has to be edited to work outside. Most Large facilities’ wi-fi usually reaches outside the building, so all it takes is a place for you to sit with your laptop or tablet. There are some really exciting new outdoor solutions for quiet work spaces, break areas, and even conference rooms!
Right now there is a wide variety of contract grade outdoor seating on the market! Everything from plastic stack chairs to bar stools to upholstered dining and lounge seating. Any of these chairs paired with the right kind of table can create community collaboration areas, conference “rooms”, or single work stations. Janus et Cie is an outdoor furniture manufacturer that has solutions for any outdoor space within any budget! Their furniture is designed for corporate and hospitality end users with the durability to last in the elements.
Another great place to look for outdoor furniture for the office is Cape Contract Furniture. Their product selection offers a range of practical outdoor furniture for any table, chair or stool needs, with a few different styles available.
Some important elements to keep in mind when designing outdoor work areas for your employees or company:
- Provide Shade – technology can be difficult to see in the sun, so using landscaping, tables with umbrellas, or getting non-glare screen protectors can solve those complications
- Power – computer batteries only last so long, so utilizing outlets on the exterior of the building and bringing out power units closer to the work tables can allow employees to stay outside for longer periods of time
- Ergonomics – there will always be some employees that if given permission to work outside won’t come inside unless it’s cold or storming, so providing outdoor furniture that supports them ergonomically is key to not compromising their health when they aren’t at their desk (Providing some standing height tables is always a good idea too!)
Once you start hunting for furniture that works for your company and outdoor spaces, you will need some fabrics for the upholstery. While there are many outdoor fabrics on the market, corporate or restaurant facilities need to have durable contract grade fabric to withstand the high use and weather. So, let me suggest…
Sina Person’s new outdoor line is an especially exciting addition to the fabric world! This collection offers a variety of colors and patters from subtle to bold allowing you to create inspiring collaborative spaces and calm, quiet areas to focus. These patterns are some of my personal favorites in an orange/neutral color scheme and a blue/green scheme. All of the fabrics are GreenGuard Gold certified, meaning that they are low-emitting, helping our environment and compliant with the BIFMA X7.1 standard. They also have 100,000+ double rubs so they are long lasting, durable fabrics not only made to stay beautiful in outdoor conditions but also to withstand commercial use.
Working outside can be a wonderful stress relief, good for your health and an attitude booster! If it’s just to take a break and sit outside for a moment or spend a whole morning at work outside, it can be great for overall productivity and work enjoyment. To facilities managers and employers, allowing your employees to work where they feel most comfortable can multiply their work ethic and and heighten enthusiasm about their work. If you have space outside your facility that isn’t being used, consider creating some break or work spaces, there’s no need to let it go to waste, right? Be creative with it, maybe even let your employees get involved and inspire each other. Your outdoor space could be a common area for everyone to enjoy, including the boss!