Trends for Offices of the Future: The Importance of Awnings
A 2016 survey found that 93% of workers feel they're more productive outside of the office. Of these, half said that their favorite non-office work spot is their home. Another 8% reported other places like co-working spaces and even coffee shops.
In a more recent survey, 86% of office workers said they'd like to spend more of their work time outdoors. With the average person spending about 95% of the time indoors, that's understandable.
Granted, not all businesses can afford sprawling outdoor workspaces, like Google or Facebook. However, even smaller companies can invest in top-quality awnings. With these coverings, employers can transform outdoor areas into green working spaces.
Ready to learn all about how these pretty canopies can help your business? Then let's dive right into it!
It's Not Just Hype: Outdoor Time Is an Essential Human Need
Have you heard of the terms "biophilia" or "nature connectedness"? These are just two terms that describe the innate need of humans to spend time in and be one with the outdoors.
Biophilia is a term that first appeared in 1984, introduced by Edward O. Wilson. The literal translation of "biophilia" is "love of life." According to Wilson, it's the innate tendency of humans to "focus on living things."
Nature connectedness, on the other hand, refers to a person's relationship with nature. It's the extent to which people consider nature as a crucial part of their being. Studies found that the more connected a person is to nature, the better their well-being is.
It's because of these hardwired traits that many people feel happy once they step outside. However, what they experience isn't only simple, perceived joy. When outdoors, the brain and body do go through mental and physiological changes.
Stress-Busting Effects of Being Outdoors
Aside from being an innate need, spending time outdoors can help bring in more positivity. Experts say that even just the sight of nature itself can already have relaxing effects. This, in turn, can help your hardworking people relieve some of their stress.
With a commercial canopy, you can provide your people with covered access to the outdoors. If there's a wide ground area, then you can have this chic and great-looking shelter on the ground floor. If the building has open gardens on higher levels, then you can set up office awnings on these areas too.
Green Spaces Can Help Reduce Risks of Chronic Diseases
Studies found that exposure to greenspace lowers the risks of type 2 diabetes. Outdoor time can even help reduce the odds of heart disease and hypertension. All these are maladies that affect many of the country's employed individuals.
So what are green spaces? Why exactly should you consider making way for green space in the workplace?
Green spaces are pieces of land either partly or completely covered by vegetation. Such can include or all of the following: grass, shrubs, trees, or flowering plants. Think parks and community gardens: these are two examples of green spaces.
In commercial properties, green spaces can be vibrant and verdant lawns. They can be the landscaped areas of the ground, featuring hedges and trees. Or, they can be any part of the structure filled with greenery and colorful flora.
If there's anything like this on or around the office building, consider topping it with an awning. This way, your people can enjoy their green space exposure within a sheltered area. This is particularly important during high noon when the sun's UV rays are at their peak.
Adjustable Covers to Take In the Sun's Vitamin D
As mentioned above, awnings can protect against ultraviolet rays. They can keep out more than 80% of these skin-damaging sunrays.
However, adequate sunlight exposure is also imperative for human health. It's the primary source of vitamin D, after all. Lack of this vitamin various health issues, with depression being one of them.
So, it's no wonder that people who stay cooped up indoors may appear to have an "unhealthy" complexion. Spending too much time inside a building can take a toll on people's health and well-being.
All these further establish the benefit of awnings for businesses. Since you can get retractable awnings, you can open or withdraw them as needed.
If your people want to sunbathe a bit, then all they need to do is to press a button on the remote to get the awning to retract. Once they've had enough of the sun (and vitamin D), they can trigger the remote to re-stretch the fabric out.
Helping Relieve "Cabin Fever" Symptoms
Cabin fever may not be an actual listed medical disorder, but the feelings it brings are real. Humans have to move, after all, so if this need gets restricted, negative emotions are sure to arise. Such negativity can include irritability, lack of focus, distress, and more stress.
Unfortunately, many people in the US have had this "fever" even before the lockdown. After all, the typical worker would allocate about 90,000 hours of their life for work alone. For those who have office jobs, then most of that time would be in a place surrounded by four walls.
So, why not consider investing in motorized awnings for the workplace? With these retractable awnings, you can give your employees a break from the indoors. If they have work laptops, then they can get their jobs done outdoors, but under a sheltered area.
Awnings Can Encourage Your Talents to Take Breaks
Taking breaks at work is essential to productivity, but over half of US employees don't take them. Or at least, they say they can't go on a proper lunch break due to their workload.
This may help explain why all sorts of workplace health issues, such as back pain, afflict US workers. Staying seated for hours at a time, after all, can indeed inflict pain and cause muscle fatigue.
That's why employers should be active when it comes to encouraging breaks at work. It is as vital as getting a project completed on time. Also, taking breaks can help refresh the brain, which, in turn, can boost productivity.
One way to help make your talents take proper breaks is to give them a nearby space where they can get some fresh air. That could be the balcony connected to your office floor. Depending on how large the area is, you can have custom-made awnings installed on it.
Switching to Natural Light
Natural light, or daylight, can help improve mood, increase productivity, and raise well-being. It can also help boost overall happiness, which, in turn, is critical for employee morale. In addition, compared to artificial light, sunlight is also less straining to the eyes.
Too much sunlight, however, can also cause glare and make it difficult to see off screens. Even slight overexposure to the sun's heat and energy can also cause the skin to redden and swell. Depending on how harsh the light is, the eyes may also become overstrained.
High-quality awnings can help provide all these benefits and address all these issues. They offer a sheltered space outdoors, so your people can work outside, in natural light. At the same time, they help block both UV rays and heat, so the people under it won't suffer.
Extending the Available Work Space
Just as how patio awnings can extend your living space at home, they can do the same for your workplace. More space also means helping everyone keep up with social distancing protocols. If your people agree, then they can all take turns or shifts using the outdoor workspace.
From Workspaces to Dining Areas to Office Events
Commercial canopies can help transform any open space into a usable area. Aside from being an extended workspace, you can also use this spot as a sort of al fresco dining area. You can even use these sheltered spaces for outdoor company events.
Helping Reduce Indoor Heat from Solar Gains
Sunlight that beams through windows can drive your commercial electricity bills. The heat can also make people inside the office irritable and unproductive. Unfiltered UV rays can also cause furniture, upholstery, and carpeting damage.
With proper planning, you can set up the retractable awnings in a way that they shield the windows too. For glass installations on higher floors, consider installing window awnings.
High-Quality Awnings for Productive and Healthy Workplaces
There you have it, your ultimate guide on the importance of awnings for today's workplaces. As you can see, there's a lot of benefits tied to the use of these commercial canopies. The fact alone that they make outdoor time possible is enough reason to invest in them for your business.
Ready to make your business a place of higher productivity and better health? We here at Accent Awning can help you kickstart your outdoor area project! Please feel free to get in touch with us now, and we'll be happy to give you a free custom quote!