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How Natural Is Your Office? [Future Of Work]

PSFK is asking readers to show us great examples of naturally-inspired design to improve the workplace.

Matt Sabourin
Matt Sabourin on August 25, 2012. @mattsabes
PSFK Presents The Future Of Work

As we wrap up the first week of Future of Work, we look at our final idea related to the Employee-Centered Office. In yesterday’s post we looked at designs to promote fitness and focus in the office. And while these innovations deliver health benefits to workers, they still don’t change the fact that most of us are stuck inside for multiple hours of the day.

To combat this cabin fever, we’ve noticing a push by companies to utilize designs that help bring the outside in. Whether finding creative ways to provide natural lighting, introducing ‘living walls’ or giving employees easy access to outdoor spaces can improve the collective mood, health and productivity of staff. In addition to the boost it provides to the workforce, these designs can also lower company’s carbon footprint and cut costs, by reducing the energy needed to run lights and temperature controls.

A recent article on CNN references a 2011 study by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Uppsala University, which found that plants in the office help to reduce tiredness, stress, dry throats and headaches. The report also found that employees who could see plants from their desk took less sick leave than those that could not. And this small transformation is something that could happen in a day.

Now imagine the positive impact that social media company Twitter’s new three-story San Francisco headquarters has on worker morale. The building features a sprawling rooftop garden and green space where employees can retreat to anytime during their workday to relax on the lawn or BBQ with their fellow workers.

While we’re not suggesting that every office needs to make such a grand gesture, we’re excited to share a few innovations that are helping making the great indoors feel a whole lot more natural. Take a look and then read about how you can participate in today’s challenge below.

LED Ceiling Tiles Create A Virtual Sky For The Office

Green Walls Bring Offices To Life

PSFK is asking readers to show us great examples of naturally-inspired design to improve the workplace.  

How is your office bringing the outside in? Do you and your co-workers take turns watering a potted plant, living wall or rooftop vegetable garden?Do you work by fluorescent light or sun light?

We want to know what helps keeps you thriving in the workplace and we’re giving away an Urbio Modular Vertical Garden to the reader with the best submission. Tweet us your ideas to @psfk using #FoW #OutsideIn so we know who to credit.

Over the next 4-8 weeks we want to start a conversation around what you see is possible in the Future of Work. Feel free to follow the conversation here and participate in the ongoing competitions. Find the previous Week 1 challenges here: Day 1Day 2 and Day 3.

Thinking...