Spring is (kind of) approaching – prepare to bring your work outside!

It is the end of January and most of us have spent several months in the dark and with a constant cloudy sky. D-vitamin levels are record low (as always this time of year) and, speaking for myself, I am working hard not to let my mood get as gloomy as the weather. The good thing is that spring is not too far away!

Research shows many benefits of spending time outside

Research has long shown that there are multiple benefits of spending time outside, some of these benefits include de-stressing, combating fatigue, boosting your energy and even lowering blood pressure. In Sweden we have on average 1500 sun hours per year, why not try to take advantage of these hours as much as we can?

According to Susanna Toivanen, professor in sociology and researcher in future workplaces, working outside a couple of hours a day can lower stress levels, improve recovery and make us healthier, happier and more alert. On top of this she says it fosters creativity, something that is needed in a modern and flexible work life. She is also convinced that a growing number of offices will create work friendly outdoor environments in the future, along with the growing popularity of activity-based offices.

Don’t have a designated outside work area at your office yet? Don’t fret.

If your office cannot provide you with a space designed for outdoor work –here are 5 ways to get started with incorporating more of the outdoors to your work life anyway.

  1. Locate a park, café or other outside area near your office. Bring your laptop and find a shady spot (unless you have glare-free screen). Also, pick a spot that is not very social, plan ahead and stick to your workflow.  
  2. Make a list of tasks that you would feel comfortable doing outside. This could help you remember to actually go outside when those tasks show up, or maybe even help you to plan your day based on the tasks. This could for example be making phone calls, planning your week, client meetings, answering emails etc.
  3. Walk and talk. Yes, don’t step into the meeting room with your colleague to brainstorm about how to solve this issue, or how to go about that task. Have a clear agenda of what to discuss and take your conversation outside. You will get both fresh air and a chance to stretch your legs. Don’t forget save a few minutes of your day to write down your most important notes from the meeting when you are back at the office.
  4. Make sure to stay connected and powered up. Find a place with Wi-Fi or borrow the hotspot from your phone and make sure your laptop has enough battery power before you leave the office. The important thing is that you will not be able to work effectively on most tasks if your internet or power is failing you.
  5. If nothing of above works – take a healthy break. If you have no possibility at all to follow any of the steps above, well then take a short break and go outside to stretch your legs once a day. You will feel reenergized and happier when you get back inside and sink back down in your chair!

So, bearing this in mind me and my colleagues at CIP global executive search are quite excited about making 2020 the year we bring the outdoors to our work life. How about you?

Caroline

Stockholm 2020-01-22