Going Biophilic: Making Your Office Pop with Nature

A trend in office design caters to workers’ well-being and the need for a better connection to their environment, and that is biophilic design. With this movement, designers are integrating nature and other natural elements into spaces that would otherwise feel cold and less conducive to productivity and interaction. It’s been proven by studies that the way a workplace is set up can greatly impact how efficient work is done.

You might be wondering how you can adopt this trend into your own space. Here are some neat ways to do so:

  • Install a green wall

Stress and fatigue are more greatly increased in office spaces that look completely urbanized and have no semblance of nature in them whatsoever. A manageable way to combat this is to install a fixture that even aesthetically creates a natural atmosphere, even if it isn’t legitimately a tree from the forest.

For instance, artificial green walls are produced in Malaysia to bring the benefits of plants and flora without the same need for upkeep (like direct sunlight and consistent watering). The mental relief that comes from seeing the presence of nature is properly triggered in mind, even if artificial greenery is used. As the imagery is curated, the brain perceives more natural elements and immediately creates a positive response.

  • Let in some natural light

One of the core elements in biophilic design is making use of natural light. Psychologically, people tend to feel tenser when there is limited access to natural light sources. Simply keeping a wide window without thick curtains or panels covering them can provide that relief to employees.

In areas that don’t have window access or see staff working at night, natural light can be generally simulated by using light fixtures that are warmer and less harsh. With the right set-up, this can even end up harnessing more creativity and collaboration than a space that is too dim and filled with harsh, cool tones. Letting in some sun also helps to make a space feel less cramped and makes way for shadows and such that produce more feelings of ease, contributing to an uptick of performance.

  • Mimic nature in your furniture set-up

While incorporating plants into your office space is the surefire way to go, you can also sustain this environment by mimicking the flow of nature with the way you set up your furniture. Even if you don’t overhaul everything to incorporate wood and stone elements, you can simply arrange your spaces in a way that feels more natural instead of completely structured and manmade.

This style can be seen in a lot of open working spaces, and you can still achieve it even if you need to create departmental partitions and closed areas for meetings. Incorporating patterns with intertwined movement and using placements that feel more organic can effectively simulate nature’s growth in workers’ subconscious, without sacrificing any cohesion in the workplace.

Try these design suggestions in your own office. You can watch the space bloom into a solid investment in productivity and employee satisfaction.

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Ready For A Lifestyle Overhaul?

Ready for a shakeup in your life? Have the last few months or weeks given you something to think about? Are you ready to create a more enjoyable, better and more personal lifestyle for yourself? 

So here are a few suggestions of where you can make changes to help you improve your lifestyle. 

Photo by Ramille Soares on Unsplash

Hobbies

Did you know that hobbies make you happier? Yes. There is a proven link between doing things we love, and raising our happiness hormones. So that makes hobbies the perfect antidote to stressful situations and life. 

Think about the hobbies you used to do as a child, remember how much you loved them? Do you still do them? Of course, interests change over the years, so you might need to find a whole new hobby! 

You might be thinking about refurbishing an old van and going on long driving trips. VanLife is a big movement, and focuses on travelling minimally, but comfortably. If you do decide that VanLife is for you, make sure you have a good car accident attorney on your speed dial! 

You might be looking for something a little slower paced. Baking bread is a great way to spend time and can be really wonderful for those who love a fresh, warm loaf with melted butter. 

Slow walks through the woods, combined with photography, can be so satisfying too. 

Health

In modern times we often push our bodies and minds into spaces that aren’t healthy for us at all. The pressure of everyday life and the people who need us can make it hard to say no. You can make small and simple changes by taking a multivitamin, drinking more water, and heading to the doctor for a check-up. 

Also, consider how much fruit and veggies you are consuming. And make a conscious effort to increase the amount. You can get an application for your mobile phone or a range of cool gadgets to help remind you to drink more water

Socially

Having the same social circle for years is really cool in the current climate or technology. But there are people out there you have yet to meet. Adding new people into your group, or generally just meeting others can have a huge impact on you and what you do. 

New people are going to like different things to you, their taste in music might open you up to new artists and bands. Their love of ice coffee instead of a traditional cup of tea, and even their hobbies. All of these new experiences can give you a fresh perspective and a new zest for life too. 

And if you know that you aren’t giving your friends the best of you, it might be time to think about why you haven’t been keeping in touch as much as you should be. Modern life means people are busy, but how often you keep in touch with people will make a difference to your everyday life. 

And finally, unplug from technology for a few hours every day, read, draw or go for a walk. 

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Should You Go Freelance?

As the coronavirus continues to spread, shutting down businesses all over the world, an opportunity has arisen. More people than ever are being forced into working from home. 

Many won’t know how to handle this, while others are guaranteed to enjoy it. This might be you, and already you’re thinking whether you could do this full time? You may realize you hate your job, and you need a change.

Freelancing is easier than ever, and with the right discipline, it can add an enormous amount of value to your life.

Should you go freelance? Here are some reasons to consider it.

It’s Not That Risky

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Even just ten years ago, being a freelancer was considered very risky. Today, the business world has evolved and being a freelancer has never been easier.

Progress with technology and software has made us more connected than ever. Entire businesses can run remotely without their staff ever meeting each other in real life.

Freelancing is no longer risky and thus becoming increasingly popular across the world.

You Don’t Need Much To Start.

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All you need to become a freelancer is your skills, a laptop, mobile phone, software such as Microsoft Office 365, and a secure internet connection. This is your new mobile office in which you can achieve anything you want. 

You can contact clients via phone, discuss projects over Skype, collaborate on Slack, and complete your accounting on Quick Books. The internet has everything you need to run a small business of your own.

Manage Your Own Time

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Don’t fancy work this morning? No problem, move your schedule back a few hours and work later. Want to drink coffee with a friend? Take the kids to school? Eat lunch with your family? No problem, schedule it in your day.

Freelancing gives you the unique opportunity to create a work/life balance. To lead a life, you actually enjoy. No more sat in traffic for hours each day. No more missed lunch hours. No more overtime.

Freelancing allows you to spend more time with the people you love and more time with yourself. 

Mobile Office

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You can work anywhere as a freelancer. You don’t have to sit at home in your underwear all day (unless you want to). You can work in cafes, restaurants, outside in the garden or one of the millions of great workspaces available in major cities.

Not only will you get out more as a freelancer, but you will also experience a sense of freedom you can’t have in an office job. 

You Earn It, You Keep It

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Freelancers keep all their profits. No more working hard every day to make someone else rich. You find clients, start projects, complete the projects, and take all the rewards. Profits can be invested back into your work, saved, enjoyed, or however you would like to use it.

If you have skills and you work hard, finding new clients and projects is easy. It won’t always be high flying, but you will have the opportunity to make more money than you ever did working for others.

Freelancing not only gives you physical freedom but financial freedom if you put the work in.

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How to Prevent Your Work From Impacting Your Health

We like to think that our jobs are good for us, but the reality is a little more complicated. While they can provide an income, they can have a negative impact on our health. That’s because, though we have some say in what we do, the working conditions are dictated by someone else; we’re not entirely (or probably even remotely) in charge of our working conditions. While you can’t change your career at the drop of a hat, you can take steps to protect yourself from potentially harmful aspects. We take a look at a few of these below. 

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Get Mobile

We tend to think that how we live is normal or natural, but in actual fact, the way we live would be considered pretty strange by our ancestors. The biggest thing they’d notice is that we’re so much less mobile than we were in the past. We’re always sitting down! And though it might seem comfortable, the truth is that it can have a negative impact on our long-term health. If you’re driving to work, sitting down all day, and then crashing on the couch each night, look at making some changes. Cycling to work and taking walks throughout the day will make a big difference.

Computer Safety

It’s true that working conditions are much safer than in the old days, because many fewer people are using heavy machinery. Yet, while the immediate risks of working at a computer aren’t that great, they can have a negative impact on your health. For example, you could develop RSI (repetitive strain injury) in the wrist from typing too much. And then there’s the matter of eye strain and the potential threats of blue light. In general, it’s best to monitor the effect that working at a computer has on your body and mind, and make adjustments as necessary.

Work-Related Stress

Your job will provide you with an income, but it sure can be stressful from time to time. And stress doesn’t just spoil your day: it can have a long-term impact on your health. As such, it’s best to find ways to deal with stress before it builds up to a problematic degree. One way to do this is to meditate each day — it only takes ten minutes but can have a profound impact on your overall ability to manage the more stressful side of life. 

In the Workplace 

Also, be sure to take a look at your workplace and identify any risks. Loose cables, clutter, and poor lighting can all lead to trips and falls, which can, of course, greatly compromise your health. It might not look like it, but it really is possible to have accidents in an office environment.

Regular Breaks 

Finally, even if you think you love your job, it’s still important to take regular breaks from time to time. Sometimes you won’t be aware of a particular health issue until you take a couple of steps back, and can see your situation with more perspective. 

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Helping Others As A Foundation Of Your Business Dream: Where Do You Begin?

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Everybody is trying their hand at starting a business. And for the vast majority of people, their goal is very simple: to make money. But when you are looking to do something a bit more with your business skills have you thought about starting a business that can bring about a certain type of change? It doesn’t necessarily have to be social change; it could be for medical purposes or a charitable organization. But when you decide that you want to start helping others as a basic foundation of your business dream, where do you go to next?

Understanding The Concept And The Industry

You may have some sort of idea where you would like to go but this means you have got to dig deep into that industry. Even when you are doing something straightforward, whether it’s a dental business or something in the medical industry, you’ve got to think about the knock-on effects; which can include issues in terms of productivity or the well-being of staff and patients. And when it comes to something like productivity, it’s crucial to have the technical components in place. In the modern-day, every business relies on its technology to make the business run but also improve its productivity. You can read more here about the positive impacts of an IT infrastructure for the dental industry. But needless to say, when you understand the concept of the business you’ve got an informed opinion of where you can progress with it. As good as it is to have an idea you’ve got to work hard to corner a specific part of the market but also realize that the infrastructure is essential.

Focus On Feedback

Whatever the business idea, the focus is very simple: the customers. You’ve got to work on building a relationship with customers and this is where the right marketing practices are crucial but you’ve also got to make sure that you receive proper feedback. When you’re trying to help people and they are the customers, you can have your work cut out for you. And we all know the difficulty of getting good customer service! So when you are dealing with people in terms of helping them, they could be more vulnerable, which calls for a deft approach to customer service. But you’ve also got to remember that feedback is vital because it can help to nurture the company. Positive and negative feedback is as important as each other. It’s crucial to turn negative feedback into constructive criticism. This will benefit the customer and your processes. And you’ve got to remember that it’s an ongoing task. It’s not a good idea to ignore negative feedback. And even if you receive more positive reviews than anything if you can turn a customer round from a negative review to a positive one this will make a big difference to your business in a financial sense but also in a moral sense too.

Starting your own business to help others is admirable but you’ve also got to remember that in order to make a success of it, it is still a business. This means that there are numerous components that need to remain. Learn the basics before you progress.

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Why Should You Start Cycling to Work?

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Considering biking to work? There are so many great reasons why you should- here’s why you need to dust off your bicycle from the shed. 

Health benefits

There’s no denying the health benefits of cycling. It works out your heart and lungs giving you a great cardiovascular workout which improves endurance, and the pedal action also sculpts and tones the glutes, calves and thighs- also the arms and back to a lesser extent. It’s low impact meaning unlike jogging you won’t irritate muscles, joints or ligaments and it’s something that most people can do providing they own a bike. If you’re looking to lose weight, tone up or just improve your fitness levels then hopping on your bike and cycling to and from work is a great option to consider.

Gets your morning off to a good start

The way we start our morning can really impact the way the rest of the day seems to go. Spend your day standing waiting for late buses or on a crowded commuter train then your stress levels will probably be through the roof by the time you get into the office. Hop on your bike and take a relaxed ride to work and you’ll boost endorphins and energise yourself, providing your route isn’t overly challenging. Lots of workplaces encourage cycling to work and will let you shower once you arrive if you’re worried about turning up sweaty, speak to your manager about this. 

Eco benefits

Driving to work of course has negative impacts on the environment, you only need to take a look at any busy area at rush hour to realise just how many cars are on the road and to think of all of the pollution they’re pumping out. By cycling to work you’re doing your small bit to reduce pollution from these journeys, it might not seem much in the grand scheme of things but all any of us can do is be responsible for our own carbon footprint. As more and more people start getting on board with these kinds of things, the joint effort all adds up in a huge way to help the planet. 

A word of warningCycling has so many benefits, but it’s important to weigh up the risks too. If your route involves lots of busy roads at rush hour for example then it might not be the best option for you. It doesn’t take a trucking crash expert to realise that any collision between a bicycle and heavy vehicle is going to have disasterous consequences for the cyclist so do be careful. If it’s still dark when you leave for work your bike will need a light, wear a hi vis jacket and always wear a helmet. If your route seems especially dangerous then maybe consider other options for getting to work instead

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Health Advice for Nurses and Other Healthcare Professionals

Working as a nurse or any other healthcare professional can be a tough job. You’re often on your feet all day and can be asked to carry out long shifts of 12 hours or sometimes even more. Staying healthy as a nurse can be difficult, but it’s possible if you know how.

Stay Comfortable on Your Feet

When you’re on your feet all day, it’s often a struggle not to go home with sore feet, legs and a bad back. One of the most important things you can have is a comfortable pair of shoes with plenty of support, which should also be practical for wearing in the workplace.

Balance Moving and Resting

It’s not always easy to find a chance to sit down and rest when working as a nurse, but it’s important to take any opportunities to do so. However, when you are on your feet, it’s better to try to move around, rather than standing still.

Pack Healthy Food

Instead of relying on the cafeteria at work or raiding the vending machine, it can be a smart idea to take lunch, dinner or even breakfast to work with you. That way, you know you have healthy food and snacks ready for you when you get the chance to eat them.

Know How to Survive the Night Shift

Working the night shift can be the hardest thing of all when working in healthcare. However, with a few solid tips, you can survive anything and still remain healthy, with adequate levels of sleep.


Visit Bradley University to learn more

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