How To Improve Employee Morale – Landscape The Area Outside Your Office

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outdoor OfficeMany offices are rather soulless places, which can affect employee morale. The average office is a grey wasteland of photocopiers, desks and filing cabinets complete with nylon carpets and vertical blinds. Unfortunately, this type of environment can be extremely depressing, so it is helpful to provide employees with an attractive outdoor space where they can go to relax in their lunch hour or when they need a break from their computer monitor. A happy employee is a more productive employee, so here are a few ideas for transforming the space outside of your office.

Big or Small – Make it Work
Depending on where your office is located, outdoor spaces may be few and far between. You may have access to a corner of the parking lot or even a roof terrace, but even if the only outdoor space you possess is a small square of cracked, weed infested concrete there is plenty you can do to make this an attractive and relaxing out of office area.
Extra Seating
Seats are very important for outdoor areas. Office chairs are no good outside because they are not build to withstand the weather, so if you want to provide your employees with seating, you need to invest in some purpose designed benches and chairs. Outdoor seating made from timber or metal is perfect. Buy a few benches and chairs and place them in small conversation groups to foster a sense of community. That way, when your employees need some time out, they can take five minutes and enjoy some fresh air in comfort.

Places to Eat and Drink
Benches and seats are great, but a table or two will be useful for those who want to eat their lunch outdoors. Picnic tables are perfect because they provide seating as well as a table. Timber picnic tables last for many years if they are constructed from treated wood and regularly painted or varnished. They are also relatively inexpensive if you are operating on a budget.
Shelter from the Elements
Some kind of shelter may be useful, especially if the climate is a bit changeable. Employees who go outdoors for a cigarette break will appreciate a shelter to keep the wind, rain and snow away. Ideally, build a shelter big enough to accommodate a few chairs or a bench, and don’t forget to place a few refuse bins in close proximity.
A Touch of Color
Flowers and green plants can make a world of difference to a grim outdoor space. If there is no natural grass or greenery, make do with planting a few shrubs and trees in large outdoor planters and pots. Choose a few bright flowering shrubs and perennials, preferably plants native to the type of climate you live in. You could even add a small water feature to make the area more relaxing.

You don’t have to spend a fortune creating a pretty outdoor space, but if there is no money in the kitty, ask your employees for assistance and make it a team building exercise. They will see the benefit and at the end of the day, everyone’s a winner.