Preliminary research from Chicago’s Northwestern University has suggested a clear link between a view of the outdoors at work, better sleep and better physical health.
Employees with windows in their workplaces not only slept an average of 47 more minutes every night, but reported better quality of sleep and less tiredness.
Those with higher exposure to natural light throughout the day also tended to engage in more physical activity, and reported higher levels of vitality.
These initial findings were presented at the current SLEEP2013 Conference in Baltimore.
Study leader Ivy Cheung commented that “the extent to which daylight exposure impacts office workers is remarkable.”
This fits with a 2012 study by the University of Utah which showed a large increase in creativity and lateral thinking skills when testing participants outdoors after a hiking trip.
“This is a way of showing that interacting with nature has real, measurable benefits to creative problem-solving that really hadn’t been formally demonstrated before,” said David Strayer on the Utah results.
Together these studies show a growing awareness of, and interest in holistic approaches to get the best from your team. Poor sleep quality and lack of exercise impacts the effectiveness of office workers, which can eventually affect team cohesion, customer service and ultimately the bottom line.
Get out of the office for your next meeting, offsite or event. Talk to us about Corporate Retreats with a natural and outdoor theme.
Because if you’re looking to do something today to boost your workplace’s productivity, creativity, culture and morale, the answer could be all around you.