Spring Green Coworking Scene
BY CAST TEAM
04 • 19 • 2018
As the dreary winter clouds give way to those crisp pre-summer winds, it seems that spring has finally sprung, and the Midwest can soon put what has become a never-ending winter behind us. Yes, we still remember that year it snowed in May, but we’re trying to stay positive, ok?!
There is something about getting outside during the first few days of 65+ degrees and sunshine, feeling warmth on your arms and the back of your neck, that sets the tone for the upcoming summer- that will inevitably take over in a few short months. While weekends with those conditions are always preferable, it never fails that the nicest days are the ones you are stuck inside the office glaring at a computer screen.
Fortunately, coworkers at Cast have plenty of space to roam about the Farmers Park campus in search of one of the many outdoor spaces to get some vitamin D, breathe some fresh air, and still finish that spreadsheet by the deadline. It’s no surprise that a little sunshine can perk up even the dullest workday, but there is mounting evidence to show that efficiency and productivity in the office can have a major boost when offering outdoor space for employees to enjoy.
A University of Melbourne study reported by the Harvard Business Review found that even just glancing at nature could make people more productive. The study divided participants into two groups and instructed the same simple task to both. After a five-minute interval, one group was shown a concrete roof top on their computer screen, while the other was show a grassy meadow. As they went back to the task at hand, those that saw the concrete rooftop seemed to have their productivity drop 8% lower than the group who had seen the nature image.
For many businesses, getting outside or utilizing a green space is not an option. Adding a pop of greenery and even sitting by a window can dramatically improve office morale when needed. Dream Grower Plants recently installed a Next Gen “Living Wall” in the lobby of Cast Executive, which features almost 300 live plants and spreads 16 feet across. Even the most well-seasoned plant lover would swoon with giddiness over this centerpiece that has become one of our favorite office features.
Stress reduction, lower blood-pressure, and mental health benefits have been proven time and time again for employees who get to spend time outside during the work day. There are plenty of ways to adjust everyday routines into being outdoors when the weather permits. At Cast, we like to include “walking meetings” to get the creative blood flowing and stem creativity.
While walking and working outside, you experience new perspectives, and all five senses are activated. This activates your nervous system and sends electrical messages called neurotransmitters from your body to your brain. These messages increase brain activity, activating memories and creative thought. It distracts routines and allows brain stimulation, too. Good memories arise, and you will start to breathe, smile, laugh, and relax. Negative and stressful energy is replaced with positive and creative energy. At this point you are ready to create your next successful idea!
The addition of an outdoor workspace has moved up the ranks in employment trends in recent years, becoming as important as things like vacation, benefits, and office culture. Creating an innovative work space not only includes the design and functionality of the office inside, but the ability to have dynamic work areas outside as well. Companies who are looking to retain professionals and offer elevated amenities for employees should consider adding outdoor space to their design plan.
While most coworking concepts do offer outdoor workspace, an office space based in Denver, Colorado has gone above and beyond to cater to outdoor enthusiasts and those who like to work outside. Wayfinder not only offers outdoor workspaces, but also takes on a full theme of the great outdoors, housing many outdoor and wellness companies who believe in the same values when it comes to the local ecosystem. Wayfinder saw a need for the professional community involved with environmental agencies and organizations to stay connected, and the niche cooperative was born.
For those looking to get out of the office and work outside, Farmers Park offers multiple spaces equipped with wireless internet and open to the public. The pavilion & plaza areas in front of The Press have picnic tables and seating areas, the Cloud House with relaxing rocking chairs & a view of the garden, and the new “Circle” green space next to Aviary Café offers lush grass and a great place to walk & talk with coworkers. A seamless connection of fiber internet across campus also allows for work to be completed if needed, without interruption.
As the temperatures begin to rise and blooms begin to open, now is prime-time to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer in the Ozarks. Regardless of where you work, office location, or culture, there are many ways to integrate time outdoors into the work day. Walking meetings, indoor plants, and even spontaneous moments outside can spur the inspiration needed to rise above any winter work slump. So, before the too-hot-to-handle humidity or spring snowstorm start knocking on our door, grab your laptop and get outside while you can enjoy it!