"Huh," you say? Checking emails and holding conference calls in the midst of fresh air and foliage?
Chances are you've run into a "green" roof or a rooftop garden. Here in downtown San Francisco we have quite a few that are open to the public, providing a lovely little lunchtime respite when the weather is just right.
But never have I considered the possibility of a garden workplace—an outdoor area designated for actual 9-5 work, complete with desks and conference tables. Sounds luxurious, I'm sure, but there are also important benefits in increased worker productivity and well-being.
Think of it this way: The built environment to humans is much like the zoo is to wild animals. In other words, the natural environment is our natural habitat, and to flourish we need consistent access to it. Take us out of it, and we decline. In fact, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a significant catalog of research pointing to this important connection.
Could your office contrive such a thing? Could create such a space at home? More importantly, are you regularly engaging with our natural habitat? Even for just a quick, mid-day lull?