No matter where you work — even if it’s under fluorescent lights, without a window in sight — there’s always a way to bring nature indoors with you into your office space.
The key is to be resourceful and find ways to utilize the space and the tools that you have on hand. It’s worth finding a way to do it, as it can bring you a little extra inner peace throughout your work day.
In this post, we’re going to share with you some simple ways you can get closer to nature at work.
Work from home? Choose the room with the best view.
If you work remotely from home, lucky you! You’ve got the best chance of being close to nature as you (hopefully) can choose the room with the best nature view.
At our home in Colorado, I chose a room that looked out over a golf course. This gave me a bird’s eye view of when the storms were rolling in, so I could take a quick work break to snap some photos like this.
Now that we’re back in Arizona, the scenery is drastically different. Instead of a golf course, my office overlooks our small, rock-covered front yard.
Fortunately, I have a love of hummingbirds. I took advantage of that by hanging a small hummingbird feeder next to a tree right outside my office window.
If you’re living in an apartment or a condo, try to position your desk by your balcony or patio window. You can put a planter in view and grow your favorite flowers — or set up a birdfeeder so you can attract your favorite feathered friends.
Bring plants into your workspace
What if you don’t have access to windows…or you’d prefer to have nature come to you? There are options for that as well, and tons of inspiration for bringing branches and imagery right into your workspace.
Or go back to basics: for more traditional option, go to your local grocery or home improvement store to find an array of plants to choose from.
Do your homework first and check out Lifehacker’s list of cubicle-friendly plants so you don’t pick up something that can’t thrive at your desk.
If you work with others, try to choose a plant that would be less likely to flare up someone’s allergies. The last thing you would want is for the thing that brings you relaxation to bring someone else misery.
Now, if there’s truly zero natural light to be found where you work, that’s okay too: Consider a plant that comes with its very own light source.
Take a break with wildlife via live streaming
Now, this one might depend on whether you work in an office — and what your office rules are about using internet bandwidth for personal benefit.
But if you can, take some time to live stream some nature on your computer (or on your mobile phone if needed). Wildearth.tv, for example, has lots of different live cameras across the world focusing on different wildlife activity.
Note that these cams are focused on the wild, so anything could happen, good or bad. Nature isn’t always relaxing.
For safer viewing, you can watch live video from local zoos, such as the Tiger Cam from the San Diego Safari Park. You can find hundreds of live cams to watch on your desktop or on your phone that will bring you a little closer to the natural world.
You can always go with Animal Planet Live where you can watch puppies, kittens, pandas…or sharks. Your choice!
Mount nature scenes on your wall
A beautiful framed photographic print can go a long way to making you feel connected to the outdoors.
But if you have no window, no way to stream a live nature feed, and no inspiring photographs, this bold solution might be for you: Consider mounting a TV/DVD combo to it and picking up a few nature DVDs.
Look around your workspace right now. Wouldn’t it be nice to create your own window into any nature scenery you want to view throughout your day, from a tropical paradise to creeks and waterfalls with autumn leaves?
You could sell this idea to your manager in a number of ways. For starters, it could double as a presentation screen when you have visitors in your office. It could be a second monitor when you need to see your workspace in larger format. It could be great for when you are video conferences.
Or, simply cut to the chase — being in an office with no windows drives you a little batty, and having some kind of natural view will help you be more productive!
How will you bring nature indoors?
There are a range of ways you can incorporate the natural world into your work environment, through reality or virtually.
No matter how you do it, you will likely find that just the ability to look at something other than your spreadsheets, emails, and wireframes throughout the day will make your day brighter and more productive!