Many of our commutes over the past year have consisted of a short walk from our beds to a desk at home, which means we’ve found that having the commuting time back to ourselves has given us the opportunity to spend the time on other activities. 

Interestingly, it turns out that the once tedious procedure that is commuting is something that is being missed. Some of our previous research revealed an appetite for workers to return to away-from-home working routines, with an unexpected response to views on commuting and physical meetings. Just one in six (17%) said that they now viewed commuting, business travel and physical meetings as “completely outdated”, while almost half (49%) said the pandemic had not changed their view of commuting or travelling to physical meetings. More than a third (34%) reported missing them.

For many of our people at Randstad, the extra time shaved off travelling has given them the opportunity to go for a run or a walk in nature in the mornings or evenings.

Being in nature has shown to have proven mental health benefits. The Mental Health Foundation’s research showed 45% of us noted that being in green spaces was a coping strategy while working from home. With this in mind, how do we stay connected to nature with a return to the office? Here, we discuss our top tips for doing just this.

find your local green space

The first step to take when returning to the office is to find where your nearest park or green space is. Spending time in green space improves mood, reduces anxiety and helps ease stress. Some of us may have started new roles during the past year, been remotely onboarded and therefore wouldn’t have had an opportunity to be in a new office. Finding your nearest green space will allow you to take some time during your day to get out of the office and stay connected with nature.

commit some time to be outside

With less commuting time, some of us have found it hard to find a work-life harmony. When you are returning to an office environment, be sure to take a lunch break to disconnect with technology and screens. Having this time to disconnect with technology will not only improve your mood, but it will also allow you to come back to your work with a fresh perspective.

not all meetings have to be inside

Take some of the lessons learnt during the past year to move some of your meetings outside if possible. Walking meetings are a great way to get some fresh air, be in nature and get in some exercise at the same time.

Click on read more to find out other ways of connecting with nature this mental health week.