Why green-desking is so good for you

We’re all familiar with hot-desking. But green-desking?

The idea is simple: too much office time is bad for us. Nature is good for us.

To green-desk, you take your laptop to a park for an hour.

Many now have public wifi. Otherwise, use your smartphone as a wifi hotspot.

Green-desking. Working outside can be a productivity boost

You can also take the team for a walking meeting or brainstorm.

You work outdoors while the wind and trees do their thing.

You return to the office refreshed and more productive.

A fad? No – there’s solid research behind the idea.

The term was coined by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in a bid to get more people into the great outdoors.

TNC manager Amy Hirst says their campaign in April led more than 100 workplaces to start green-desking.

“Everyone knows they feel better when they spend time in nature, but we’re spending more time in offices, cars and homes and we’re disconnecting,” she says.

“When you take your work outside, you think differently and behave differently. It’s a natural lift.”

Four reasons why green-desking may be the easy productivity boost you’ve been looking for:

Improved mental and physical health

Everyone knows that moving around during the day is good for us, mentally and physically.

But offices and workplaces tend to keep us in one spot. There’s always another task to do.

Amy Hirst says many of us would love to get outside more during work – but feel guilty doing so.

“We feel we have to be physically at our desks, when technology means we don’t have to any more,” she says.

“People love green-desking as a reason to get outside and come back with a different approach than if they’d stayed at their desks.”

By heading outside purposefully with your laptop or team, you get light exercise.

And simply sitting in nature has been repeatedly proven to relieve anxiety, depression and general sickness.


Boosted productivity

We weren’t designed to be inside all day.

Researchers have found that walks in nature boost working memory – and much more so than walks in the urban jungle.

Finding park space in the city

Not only that – nature is a proven way of tackling brain fog and mental fatigue.

It also boosts concentration.

Rather than downing your fifth cup of coffee, try applying greenery to the problem.


Reduced stress

If you can see trees out your office window, you will be less stressed than someone in a wholly artificial environment.

The effect on stress is even more powerful when you’re actually out there.

Studies have shown a decrease in heart rate and cortisol when people go from city to nature.

And an urban park works just fine.


Better ideas and creativity

Stuck in a rut? Staring at the screen, waiting for inspiration?

The problem might not be you, but where you are.

We need stimulation to come up with new ideas. Getting outside gives you a fresh perspective.

Einstein famously went for long walks in nature when he was stuck. So did Beethoven.

Australian cities are dotted with parks. Chances are there’s one near you.