Time spent outdoors, in nature, provides physical and mental well-being. It would help make people happier and more energetic. Benefits that would also benefit workers. Connection with green spaces would encourage concentration, thus contributing to better productivity in the office, according to a British survey.
In this survey of 2,000 British adults, we learned that people who spend time outdoors are generally in better health (physical and mental) than those who do not. They are also happier, energetic and productive than their counterparts.
In fact, individuals who spend 20 hours or more each week in green or natural spaces are 41% more efficient during the day than those who only devote 30 minutes per week to this activity. This impressive gain can be explained by the fact that contact with nature has a positive influence on our mental health.
In recent decades, a large number of scientific articles have validated the popular intuition which recommends getting some fresh air to “clear your mind”. Researchers from the Australian University of Melbourne discovered in 2015 that the simple act of contemplating nature increases concentration and therefore productivity. After having 150 students view different images (natural environment versus urban spaces), the scientists noted a significant increase in the performance of students who had benefited from a bowl of greenery. And this, even for a few tens of seconds.
The aforementioned survey confirms these results since three-quarters of respondents say that time spent in nature gives them a feeling of well-being that helps them get through the day. Some 80% of them also say that they feel better physically and mentally after spending time in green spaces, which certainly helps to make them more focused and therefore efficient. “Not only do people feel better when they visit outdoor spaces, but they also work better (…). By giving us a space to relax, decompress or simply connect with others, these spaces can also make a huge difference to our overall health.“, underlined Louise McCathie, director of fundraising at NHS Charities Together, a British organization which participated in the development of this study.
In addition to productivity, various scientific research has shown that contact with nature can also reduce employee stress and awaken their creativity. Companies are aware of this and are increasingly paying attention to offering islands of greenery to their employees, whether by installing plants in offices or by creating real natural spaces in their premises.