The importance of creating motivating, functional outdoor environments can’t be understated in today’s hybrid world.
Can you believe it? It’s officially been over two years since COVID turned the entire world upside down. At the start of the pandemic, we realized quickly that the shift to working from home meant a lot more time staring out the window at our yards and wondering if we might improve the view.
Fast forward to today, and as the hybrid work model continues to build momentum, the importance of providing outdoor areas that are productive and motivating as the seasons change can’t be understated.
So, we got to thinking. What really makes people happy? What elements, combined with amazing landscaping, will support outdoor work, meetings and gatherings for companies and individuals operating in this new norm?
Help Your Building Occupants Embrace the Outdoors
We live in New England! After months of being cooped up in our home, office, or home office - we’re all ready to get outside. Your building occupants feel exactly the same way, but many times the outdoors aren’t conducive to their productivity. The sun is in their eyes, their laptop is on 10%, and they’re in need of a cold beverage - now.
Create seating areas with shade provided by umbrellas, bushes, or trees.
Provide a mix of seating options (if you have the space!) - cafeteria-like seating with tables and chairs for dining, lounge seating for work and collaboration, and bar-height tables for a drink after work or catching up with friends.
Consider how lighting plays into the overall environment. Are people able to work or gather at all times of day? How is this lighting working alongside the landscape design?
Provide power! This is often missed in many design builds and is key to drawing your occupants outside.
Consider installing a machine like a Bevi so occupants can stay hydrated and refreshed on those 90 degree days.
Activate Outdoor Areas with Events & Programming
If you’re managing a residential or commercial property, people may not remember every detail of their day, but they will remember how that day made them feel. The ultimate goal is to elevate those feel-good vibes this outdoor season, and tie them back to the space they’re in. When lease renewals come up next, they may just reconsider taking up shop elsewhere.
Bring in music and set the artist up in front of a nicely landscaped backdrop (or poll your building community to see if there are any musicians there!)
Hire a food truck to come in once or twice a week to provide a new lunch option.
Create a community events and programming calendar so occupants know what’s to come.
Hire a community manager to support your overall building experience.
Make People Part of the Process
Landscaping doesn’t have to just be a pretty, passive element. Make your annual spend worth it! An environment built by the building community is always better than an environment built solely by a property management team. Your occupants will feel part of the process - and what better way to see the results of your feedback growing and changing every day?
Encourage occupants to post pictures of their beautiful surroundings by running a contest on Instagram or Facebook and offering a small prize.
Boost external recognition of your property by encouraging them to tag you in their posts.
Poll them on their favorite seasonal flowers, and incorporate this feedback into next year’s design.