Numerous studies have focused on the link between time in nature and our physical and mental health. The results seem to indicate that green spaces – such as parks, forests and even landscaping viewed through a window – can have a positive effect on our minds and bodies. Incorporating nature into your life and workplace can also have mental health benefits, such as:
- Reduced stress and depression symptoms
- Increased productivity
- Higher sense of well-being
One study found natural elements and exposure to sunlight positively affect job satisfaction. You can incorporate nature-inspired elements through color, plants and lighting. Ideas include:
- Using wood on floors and furniture
- Incorporating colors from nature into decorations
- Adding a water feature or plant wall
- Using plants instead of cubicle walls to separate workers
You may want to create a “green team” of employees to review policies around décor, recycling and purchasing reusable items and to offer suggestions of small and large changes that could be made at your office. You can also offer green-focused challenges, such as:
- Going a month without using plastic eating utensils
- Bringing your own coffee mug or reusable water bottle to work
- Sharing a plant with a coworker
- Packing snacks in reusable containers instead of plastic bags
Not everyone works in an actual office each day, so incorporating green into home-based workspaces is important too. Here are some ideas you can incorporate and share with your employees:
- Work in a room that has good natural light and a view of nature.
- Bring nature into your office with plants, pictures of beautiful places or a small water feature.
- Go paperless and use environmentally friendly office supplies.
- Use natural colors or flooring in your home office.
Learn more about going green at work in this Blue Cross® Virtual Well-Being webinar. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll find past sessions and resources. Related:
- Getting Organized at Work
- Addressing Loneliness at Work
- 5 Ways Employers Can Promote a Healthy Work Environment
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