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These days, your outdoor living space is just as important as your indoor.

One thing to consider if you have a vast outdoor space is how you utilize such an opportunity. Putting the wrong feature in a large outdoor space can look clumsy and awkward. Get smart with your ideas and create a thoughtful haven that suits your business and also impresses any potential visitors.

This can be an exciting opportunity to spice up your outdoor living space and there are plenty of things you can do to achieve a variety of distinct areas. So whether it’s an area to entertain, a safe spot for children to play freely or a tranquil space just for visitors or guests to take a moment – it’s ultimately a place everyone can come to enjoy.

The below ideas aren’t so much prescriptive but more a case of inspiring you to think big and let your imagination run riot!

A Maze or Labyrinth 

Not sure what the difference is between the two?  A ‘maze’ is a route to a goal which gives route choices and dead ends, whilst a ‘labyrinth’ is a single path that is meandering and has no choices. Basically…if you want to find yourself, create a labyrinth and if you want to lose yourself create a maze.

We are not expecting you to construct something like the famous Pineapple Maze in Hawaii but some well-tended topiary at knee level can be great fun for children and adults alike and make a great creative talking point for visitors.

Your maze or labyrinth can be as elaborate or as simple as you desire – the ‘choice’ is yours!

A Treehouse

This one’s for the kids – but if you make it roomy enough a few of those ‘big kids’ can make use of it as well.

Things have come a long way since the time of a few planks of wood nailed to a tree and it being declared a ‘den’.

There are plenty of experts on hand that can erect a sublime piece of ariel real estate from the traditional glorified birdbox to the whimsical fairytale.

Giant Chess Set 

Want to go a little bit quirky and classical? Well if you want to play chess on a grand scale then this might be for you. You’ve all heard that saying, ‘Go big or go home’

A hand-carved giant chess set would be a great way to ‘go big’ and is a perfect distraction for any chess lovers, plus a fun way to get the young ones excited about the game.

Firepits & Chimineas

Extend the use of your outdoor space throughout the season to those chillier nights with an outdoor firepit. This is a wonderful way to introduce a glowing ambience and get that cosy factor going on.

If you want something steeped in history, a Chiminea might be an interesting feature. With origins dating back to 16th or 17th Century Mexico, Chimineas are generally made from terracotta and can be a beautiful awe-inspiring piece adding a touch of character to any surrounding.

Mini Crazy Golf Course 

Well of course! How could we miss out the possibility of some golfing fun? We’re obviously not suggesting you start competing with the professional capabilities of the Royal County Downs, but you can have a lot of fun with themes and designs. 

So before you begin, it is imperative you start with a plan. Think about what you want to use the space for. Do you want to create zones? How many regular visitors are you planning to have? Also try to consider what might work well long term – make your spaces easy to adapt and refresh or go for the longevity option cultivating an idea that will grow better looking with age.

Make this the opportunity for your outdoor area to take you on a journey, making your outdoor space an extension of your business.

Could you or any of your employees benefit from great outdoor space at work?

In today’s working environment, the economic pressures are high and the demands to succeed are intense. It’s no wonder lunch breaks are slowly becoming a thing of the past for many and adding to stress levels.

Space for employees to remove themselves from staring at their screens and recharge for a moment equals smart business thinking. A breath of fresh air feels like the best thing in the world if you’re bogged down by work. It delivers that much-needed energy boost and clarity of mind – which in turn leads to a more productive workplace.

According to a poll undertaken by hospitality specialist Sodexo and the nonprofit health body Ukactive, 800 British workers they surveyed only took an average of 22 minutes for their lunch breaks.

How employees can benefit 

Taking a short break every couple of hours from a tough work schedule helps employees keep in good shape physically, mentally and emotionally, considerably improving productivity.

Spending as little as 20 minutes a day outside can:

  • reduce stress
  • improve memory and concentration
  • restore mental energy 
  • encourage team building
  • improve social interaction

How to Create an Outdoor Office Space

  1. Plants, plants and more plants

    Fill the space with (you guessed it) … plants. As a business, things can get busy and stressful at times, so the last thing you may be thinking about is tending to green spaces and making sure it looks luscious all year round. Try a low maintenance version of a botanical garden by opting for artificial plants. You can still mix in live plants for the extra wow factor. Grow herbs or vegetables. Or, plant flowers and grasses and create a space that attracts butterflies and pollinators.
  2. Seating

    If you really want to entice employees into using the outdoor space, provide comfortable seating where they can enjoy lunch, take a moment to themselves or even have a catch up with colleagues. 
  3. Walking Trails

    For larger spaces with land. A walking trail would be a great way to get out, take in some fresh air and get some vitamin D. For an extra endorphin boost,  this could be a great time of the day for a run or team walk.
  4. Outdoor Grilling Station

    If you really want to splash out, how about a grilling station? This would make a fabulous way for the team to get together on a Friday afternoon.

With the pressures placed on today’s workforce, it is important to remember that employees need to detach from their screens and take those all-important regular breaks.   

Giving employees an opportunity to untether themselves from technology is one more step on the ladder to staff retainment and loyalty.