“Real freedom lies in the wilderness, not in civilization”. Charles Lindbergh
When planning our vacations or a weekend getaway we usually imagine ourselves reading our favorite book in the shadow of that big, old tree; or contemplating the cotton candy sunset with the background sound of waves crashing. Romantic right? However, why don’t we think about having that same relaxed feeling when being in our office?
Some may think that computers, stuffed papers, chaos and constant phone rings belong to offices; and that comforting breeze on the face and scented flowers only to those few instants we’re lucky to have. However, we should consider bringing nature into our office. This doesn’t mean planting a palm tree beside our desk or constructing a fake waterfall in the walls. It means finding the way to make environments comfortable.
“People spend a lot of time at work and their environment definitely affects them. So if pleasant scenery makes people feel better, there’s a good case that the scenics of their working environment will have a similar effect”, argues Chanuki Seresinhe.
Similarly, The National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) shows positive effects when integrating nature into one’s own routine. Participants who went on a 90-min walk through a natural environment reported reduced neural activity in an area of the brain linked to risk for mental illness compared with those who walked through an urban environment; suggesting that accessible natural areas may be vital for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world.
Although some offices may have great views, all kinds of wild flowers in their gardens or even fresh aromas all around; for some companies, natural scenarios are going to be a struggle. However, we must always remember that “when it comes to green space, the issue is quality, not quantity”, as Seresinhe argues.
Companies can try sky porches, bulb species, green roofs or even virtual nature. Sue Thomas, author of the book “Technobiophilia”, explores the online prevalence of nature-derived metaphors and imagery. Another thing to do is to try an active pause with wildlife via live streaming. Wildearth.tv, for example, has lots of different live cameras across the world showing different wildlife activity.
Let’s bring nature to our office!