Working Outside Is Good For Your Mental Health

July 28, 2017

11:30 am

When the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, no one wants to go to work. In addition to infringing on your precious beach time, the prospect of sitting indoors for 8+ hours when it’s a balmy 85 degrees outside is enough to drive an employee off the wall. Fortunately with remote work and flexible schedules becoming a popular workplace trend, soaking up a little sun and getting work done are no longer mutually exclusive. And apparently, it’s for a pretty good reason.

The benefits of working outside have proven to far outweigh anything you can gain from setting up in an office for half the day. So if you’re trying to get your productivity on, go for a stroll, find a nice bench, and enjoy the great outdoors with that meeting on mute. Check out a few benefits of working outside below:

Stress Reduction

Nature, whether you realize it or not, is your natural habitat. Air conditioners, computer screens, indistinct chatter, and cramped cubicles don’t do a lot to put your mind at ease. And if you’ve got a big project coming up, the constant reminders are stressing you out even more, a known killer of productivity.

The patio at WeWork in DC

If you really want to get your heart rate down and your work done, coworking spaces like WeWork have a wide range of patios, balconies, and outdoor seating that allows you to take in the sights while keeping your mental health in check. Plus with all that free water and beer, you’ll stay nice and hydrated even when the temperature gets up to triple digits.

A Little Vitamin D

For those of you that don’t live in places that actually get cold, seasonal affective disorder is all too real, particularly in an office setting. Getting a little sunshine on a daily basis can not only improve your mood, but can also make you more productive and engaged at work. Plus, you’ll probably snap at your boss fewer times, which will lead to substantially fewer workplace transitions in your future.

Sitting: the New Smoking

I don’t care how ergonomic your office chair is. I don’t care if you got a back pillow that feels like heaven. I don’t even care if you had an elective surgery to replace your spine with adamantium. Sitting for a prolonged period of time is bad for you, no matter how you cut it. And while standing desks can help, moving around is the only real way to make sure your body doesn’t crap out on you when you turn 35.

Yoga class at WeWork in Austin

Getting a little exercise, whether it’s walking to the park and setting up your laptop or throwing down a few yoga poses in between meetings, getting outside whenever you can during the work day can do wonders for your mental health.

A Change of Pace

Work can be pretty boring. Going to the same place to work on the same project with the same people wearing the same deodorant can get pretty menial. Working outside breaks the monotony and let’s your brain get distracted in a way that breeds creativity and ingenuity. In the startup world, the status quo is a no-no, which means that working outside should be your biggest proponent for spurring innovation. So get out there and work!

Read more about being a healthy entrepreneur on TechCo

This article is part of a WeWork content series. WeWork provides shared workspace, community, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and small businesses. Read more about WeWork here.

Photos: WeWork

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Senior Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Senior Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.

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