If we look at what causes stress, it's usually a very complicated thing, otherwise, it wouldn't be stressful if a solution was easy to come by. ART works to refocus the mind away from what is causing stress and instead allows it to reconnect with nature, to think about the simple things in order to bring calm and restoration to the rest of the body.
The main benefit of ART in office design is that it allows for us to rebuild our concentration levels, which can so often be shattered at any point during the working day. By allowing your concentration to build back up by thinking (or being around) natural elements (which don't require much thought, remember) it's likely you'll return to work with more vigour, ready to tackle whatever it was that made you stressed in the first place.
The workplace is so often a soulless environment; for a good reason, don't get us wrong – the workplace needs to be a professional environment that informs everyone present of that fact. But does that line need to be so bold? Soulless equals bleak, characterless and unwelcoming; are these feelings we want our workplaces to reflect? We need them to be inspiring, stimulating and welcoming. ART can help to make that line slightly more passable for these positive feelings.
How can I introduce ART into the workplace?
ART can be brought into the average office design in a number of ways; from introducing live plants, placing up photos, creating large windows or simply allowing for employees to take time to refocus or spend time outside. Nature is all around us (or should be), so let's embrace it.
Here are three ways you can help your employees to feel inspired and to refocus:
- Biophilic design is the concept of introducing more natural elements into the workplace; it refers to the idea that humans love to exist in a natural environment. This can be introduced into the office with anything from plant displays (real or not), making better use of natural light, as well as using 'natural colours' such as blues, greens and yellows in the decor of the working areas.
- Quiet rooms to allow employees to meditate are quickly becoming an office design They help to get the person away from a stressful (or noisy) work arena and instead allow them to get on with their work or to refocus without being disturbed. Introducing meditation techniques will go a long way in helping them to de-stress. Make sure you put up a few pictures concerning nature too.
- Outdoor working can be achieved with ease nowadays thanks to the flexible technology we have. There's no dragging cables outdoors involved, with Wi-Fi, you can give your employees the option of working outside, spending it in nature instead of a stuffy office. Perhaps you have a garden or a yard you can make use of? Maybe you're situated in a bustling town centre or near a park? With so much flexibility it would be amiss if we did not take advantage, combining the need to work with the need to spend more time in nature.