Indoor vs Outdoor Office

When envisioning the perfect office, does it involve being cooped up in an indoor office environment or working outdoors in the fresh air? There is no universal right or wrong answer, as the ideal workspace depends on personal preference and where you feel most inspired.

Some thrive when surrounded by nature in outdoor spaces, while others need the structure of a traditional indoor setting. With the right strategies, well-being and productivity can be boosted in both environments.

Rather than looking at it as an either/or choice, the most effective solution is often integrating the best aspects of indoor and outdoor through purposeful office design. Blending natural elements like sunlight, greenery and garden spaces into an indoor floorplan combines the benefits of both work arenas.

Incorporating technology, connectivity, and other indoor comforts into an outdoor setting creates an idyllic hybrid workspace. You can create an office environment perfectly suited to your needs with creative planning.

The Indoor-Outdoor Office

The indoor-outdoor office concept aims to blend the benefits of both environments through flexible design. This involves creating fluid boundaries between indoor and outdoor space. Many companies have implemented unique office designs that incorporate outdoor elements or enable outside work.

For example, the Selgas Cano architectural firm, based in Madrid, designed its office to be an indoor structure set in an outdoor forest. The benefits of spending time in nature while retaining indoor amenities were clear.

Studies show that being outside in natural environments lowers stress hormone levels and provides many benefits, such as increased energy, creativity, and focus. However, working outdoors poses unique challenges, like exposure to the elements. The indoor-outdoor office aims to mitigate these downsides while connecting workers to nature.

Companies create indoor-outdoor offices in different ways. Some add connected patios or courtyards for outdoor work and meetings. Others feature retractable walls to open indoor rooms up to the outdoors. Placing indoor workstations near large windows or atriums merges spaces visually.

Providing outdoor walking paths and seating areas adjacent to an indoor layout encourages spending time outside throughout the day. The goal is to allow employees to move fluidly between indoor and outdoor areas based on task and preference.

This balances comfort and focus with fresh air, sunlight, and CONNECTIONS TO OUTDOOR SPACE for a healthy, engaging workspace. There are pros in terms of well-being and productivity gains from blending these environments. Potential cons could include outdoor distractions and accessibility limitations in particular weather.

However, with careful planning, an indoor-outdoor design can optimize benefits while minimizing complications. This unique approach effectively integrates indoor and outdoor settings, delivering the perks of both settings.

Bringing Nature Indoors

A growing trend in office design is incorporating elements of outdoor spaces into indoor environments. Adding more plants, greenery, and water features is one way to infuse nature. There has certainly been a push to add more greenery to the workplace. Plants are beautiful and relaxing to look at.

Nothing brightens the senses quite like a bit of natural decor in a dull office environment. Research tells us that plants create a more pleasant environment and help with health, well-being, and productivity in the workplace. Indoor plants can relieve stress and negative feelings and improve indoor air quality.

Adding plants and maybe even the occasional water feature to the classic indoor office setting can help make your work environment healthier and more attractive without veering too much into unfamiliarity. Working outdoors or spending time in outdoor seating areas surrounded by living plants has been shown to reduce stress, improve focus and elevate moods. Bringing these benefits inside by decorating indoor spaces with potted plants, gardens, and floral motifs fosters a similar uplift.

Greenery filters dust and allergens from indoor air and releases oxygen, boosting air quality. Choose low-maintenance plants suitable for indoor lighting conditions, such as succulents, orchids or air plants. Strategically place plants where productivity needs a lift, like an employee lounge or collaborative workstations.

Water features like indoor ponds or tabletop fountains add soothing auditory elements. Living walls and moss panels bring large-scale natural flair. Opening indoor spaces up to outdoor views also helps connect workers to nature.

A courtyard design allows glimpses of the outdoors from all angles. Placing work areas near windows, atriums, or skylights keeps outdoor vistas at the top of one’s mind while working indoors. Balconies and rooftop seating extend outdoor access. Whether through plants, sights or sounds, blending natural elements into indoor office spaces benefits well-being while keeping outdoor inspiration within reach.

Natural Light

Exposure to natural light is a crucial element in creating a healthy workplace. Studies have shown that people who work in offices with windows and decent exposure to natural sunlight sleep better, work better and feel better. In addition to greenery in the workplace, sunlight exposure has been proven to increase creativity, productivity, positivity, and healthy development while reducing stress. This explains why many offices use vast windows and open spaces to let sunshine in.

When designing an office, maximise natural light through large windows, skylights, and open floor plans. Consider placing desks and workstations near windows or green spaces to allow direct outdoor views. This constant connection to the outdoors and natural elements uplifts mood while working indoors. If possible, utilise outdoor space for meetings and collaborative work. Outdoor work in fresh air often sparks creativity and engagement.

Create dedicated outdoor meeting areas like patio seating or gazebos to hold sessions outside when feasible. If outdoor options aren’t available, bring touches of nature into indoor meeting rooms through living plants, nature photography, and natural materials like light wood tones. At a minimum, rooms should have windows to let in some natural light and outdoor views.

To prevent glare, install adjustable window coverings and use glass treatments like frosted or tinted panels to regulate sunlight streaming into indoor spaces when needed. The goal is to strike an optimal balance between ample natural light and mitigating glare for comfort. Simple adjustments make any indoor office more vibrant and inspiring by harnessing natural light.

Harmonious Workspaces – Uniting Indoors and Outdoors

Indoor and outdoor offices have unique advantages, and modern workspace design seamlessly integrates these environments for optimal benefit. As we have established, comparing an indoor and outdoor office is tricky, as they are extremely hard to separate nowadays. Modern architecture blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor, and they turn out rather spectacularly.

For more information on living space solutions that skillfully blend indoors and outdoors, visit the Aaron’s Outdoors workshop page. If you’d like to see some of these integrated workspaces in person, visit one of Australia’s super display store locations!

The team at Aaron’s Outdoors can advise on layouts and building materials to create a blended workspace tailored to your needs. Add plants, ample windows and natural elements to infuse vitality. Develop adjacent outdoor areas for rejuvenating breaks. Seek designs with fluid indoor-outdoor transitions to capture the benefits of both settings. Proper lighting, climate, and acoustics controls keep the environment connected but comfortable. Modern workspaces uplift productivity and well-being by unifying the best of indoors and outdoors.

Call us today to bring this seamless integration to your office.

Discover our Home Office solutions

Work smarter, not harder with an Aarons Home Office

You have Successfully Subscribed!

We strive for 100% customer satisfaction.
If we fell short, please tell us more so we can address your concerns.

    Thank you!
    We need your help.

    Would you share your experience on one of these sites?


    Request a Call back

    Complete your details below and we will call you back

      Subscribe to our newsletter

      Download our Cubby Brochure

      Complete your details below to download our Cubby brochure

        Subscribe to our newsletter