New Green Work Spaces
Thinking about reorienting the way you work? Need a workspace change? Want some daily Vitamin D? Need exercise during the workday? Look no further than the latest creative trends for greening up your work life.
With the proliferation of computers and high-tech communication modes, the way we work can now support greener lifestyles. Here are work trends worth employing.
The US Census Bureau finds that the number of self-employed Americans has been rising rapidly for years. With thousands of Americans deciding to go into business for themselves each year, the trend keeps growing. This also seems in line with what economists have been telling us: that due to job losses, more and more people are choosing to join the working class of the self-employed.
My husband has worked at home for many years. It was the practical solution when our kids were young and my job required me to leave the nest daily. When the kids came off the school bus, Dad was home. For others, working from home eases financial burdens and lessens psychological stresses. Read more about greening up home offices.
Walking meetings are advantageous to businesses and workers. Engaging the mind and body is a holistic way to work. The Japanese discovered decades ago that workers that exercise together in the mornings before starting their workday, are more productive. Exercising before work can help alleviate the negitive effects of sitting all day. Here are reasons for conducting walking meetings in an outdoor space (adapted from a Planet Green post I wrote):
1. Physical activity energizes people and makes them more alert.
2. Different environments can inspire new ideas and stimulate creativity.
3. Time outdoors, in nature, with fresh air and light improves physical and mental well-being.
4. Walking and talking side by side cuts through hierarchical work distinctions and sets people at ease – a positive working spirit.
5. Walking burns calories, stimulates oxygen flow and increases brain function – great for problem solving.
6. Walking allows the mind to become more flexible and can stimulate the right side of the brain.
7. Being outdoors can increase privacy for workers without interruptions.
8. It saves office resources when there are fewer machines running – making walking meetings a great green idea!
Those who share an office space find community-building and networking are benefits that advance their work. The traditional 9-5 work day, with it’s time consuming eco-unfriendly commutes, office politics, and confining cubicles is considered a prehistoric model for some. Co-working in a brick and mortar space can provide daily human interaction and add a sustainable dimension to a shared working environment. While many choose the solitude of a home office, others are joining the stimulating co-working movement.
“There are co-working spaces in almost every major city in the United States and more than 75 spaces globally, listed on the co-working Google group’s website. There are co-working “remixes” that fit every niche from green business to working mothers. And, co-working is emerging not just as a rich work community for the self-employed, but as an efficient platform from which to build a business.” ~ Inc. Magazine
Read more about co-working.
The image above is an inspirational DIY idea for creating an office. A small, empty backyard can be transformed into a workspace. This outdoor working space has a water feature, a rustic wooden desk, and a deck lined with river rock. Consider adding a DIY Sun Shade to cut computer glare. Although this space seems best suited for temperate climates (I could not create this space, too many bugs, and bears!), this is a refreshing seasonal alternative to being holed up in a home office when the weather is nice.
What are your thoughts about these alternative working environments? Do you have a creative workspace?