Outdoor Office Space Gaining in Popularity
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of new office and work concepts, including a serious look at developing outdoor office spaces. While many climates make working outside impractical during at least a portion of the year, the concept is gaining traction around the country.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic a number of leading companies had been experimenting with developing outdoor work spaces. LinkedIn opened an outdoor space in August 2019 at its Sunnyvale, CA, location. It’s designed to serve as an outdoor office and includes a 17-foot long table equipped with computer monitors, office style chairs and retractable overhead shades.
The outdoor office space concept was originally developed to attract and retain employees. Today, outdoor spaces like the one at LinkedIn are taking on a new importance in light of the pandemic.
Research has shown that proper ventilation plays a key role in mitigating the transmission of COVID-19 in indoor spaces. Outdoor work spaces solve this problem with natural airflow. These outdoor spaces may play a role attracting workers back to the office, at least in some locations.
A Changing Paradigm
It’s a real change from how outdoor spaces at work have traditionally been viewed. A blog post on the Steelcase website titled Taking the Office Outside, covers the growing trend in outdoor work spaces. Steelcase is a leading designer and manufacturer of office furniture and related products.
In the blog, Steelcase application design manager Mary Elaine Roush states, “People love to be outside for all kinds of reasons, but often the spaces at work are designed for social interactions, like having lunch outside, or respite. But it’s possible to create productive outdoor workspaces where people can benefit creatively and feel safe.”
Besides expanding an office’s usable space, outdoor office spaces provide a place where people can interact with others in a safe environment.
Using a blend of both indoor and outdoor space is a trend many believe will continue, even in a post-pandemic world. A recent article in the Charlotte Business Journal illustrates the growth of outdoor work spaces in the Charlotte, NC, area and how architects and designers are looking at ways to incorporate this new concept into office designs.
Research shows that access to nature and open space can have a positive impact on people and productivity. These benefits include stress reduction, improved mood and attitude, and improved creativity.
Steelcase offers the following design tips to make practical and productive outdoor office spaces:
- Maintain 6 feet of social distancing
- Design spaces to accommodate different types of work such as meetings, quiet space, etc.
- Provide easy to access electrical outlets
- Provide shade and sun protection
- Floor patterns and rugs can help direct traffic
- Provide seating and ergonomic work surfaces designed for work functions
- Movable furniture offers flexibility
Open Space a Priority at Miller’s Landing
At Miller’s Landing in Castle Rock, CO, we’re creating a new multi-use development that places a priority on easy access to outdoor amenities. We have beautiful, sunny weather for the majority of the year here in Colorado. We’re exploring ways to take advantage of that year-round as we plan our office building designs. We’re building a new, pedestrian-friendly town center supported by modern offices, retail and restaurant options, a resort hotel and spa, conference and meeting space, and large parcels of open space for work, recreation and rejuvenation.
Castle Rock is a growing south Denver suburb located on the I-25 corridor. It’s consistently rated as one of the best places to live and locate a business in Colorado. It offers a charming small-town atmosphere with easy access to big city amenities in nearby Denver.
Miller’s Landing recently unveiled plans for a new 150,000 square-foot multi-tenant office building that will offer healthy, safe and smart offices. The building will feature a heating, cooling and ventilation system that meets the higher standards of today’s new normal working environments. It will provide versatile office space that meets modern health and safety demands in the era of Covid-19.
We’re excited about our future. Join us!