How we interact with commercial office spaces has fundamentally changed since before COVID. Many professionals still work from home, either full-time or using a hybrid model, with most still unenthused by the prospect of returning to the office. In addition to demand for increased sanitary measures, there is a new emphasis on natural light and fresh air in office environments. And rightly so – growing evidence reveals how exposure to nature has positive physiological effects on the human body and mind, increasing cognitive function and reducing stress. Refreshing a space with new corporate office furniture, incorporating functional plants and water features, and creating all-weather solutions to keep your business running smoothly are key elements of modern outdoor office design.

Multipurpose Outdoor Furniture

In addition to selecting furniture that will stand up to the elements, it is important to think about how people will interact with the furniture throughout the day. Large meetings require a table and chairs to accommodate the full team, while loungers and sectionals can be moved and rearranged as needed. If your outdoor workspace is intended for mixed use, think about how the furniture will transition from professional to casual use. Is there a coffee bar or kitchen area? Are you planning to host large gatherings? Questions like these can help inform your furniture choices.

Functional Landscaping

In the same vein as sustainable design, biophilic design aims to incorporate natural elements in modern spaces, but with the specific goal of reconnecting humans with nature. Along with creating a sense of serenity to reduce stress and increase happiness, there is an additional functional element to adding greenery to your workspace. Water fountains can mask the sound of a busy road, while tall shrubs and potted trees can break up a space and increase privacy. Large leafy plants also make great sound buffers for meeting spaces, and greenery can actually help cool down a hot patio.

Weather-Proof Equipment for Outdoor Workspaces

Good design requires the space to function well, no matter the season. If you are redesigning an outdoor office, consider adding an overhang to protect your meeting table from rain and snow and retractable doors to minimize the barrier between indoors and outdoors. Along with weather-proofed outlets and protecting electronics as much as possible, sun shades, canopies, heat lamps, fans, and retractable covers are all great ways to battle the elements without disrupting the workday.

An outdoor workspace doesn’t need to be complex in order to be functional. By making smart choices when it comes to corporate office furniture and how the workspace functions on a day-to-day basis, even the most reluctant employee won’t mind returning to the office. At Environments, we are uniquely positioned to help you turn your office design dreams into a reality, from start to finish. Contact us today to learn about how we can help create your ideal outdoor workspace.