Can the sight of a soaring hawk help you boost productivity at work? Sounds strange, but studies show it’s true.  

Biophilia is the theory that humans have an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. Researchers have taken this idea even further to say that when this connection is fulfilled, many areas of a person’s life will be positively impacted, and that includes productivity at work.

Want proof? Studies have shown that exposure to natural elements can lower your blood pressure and increase your attentional capacity.

These are two things that anyone facing a tight deadline or heavy workload will appreciate. And the list of benefits goes on, including reduced mental fatigue, elevated mood, lowered anxiety, and a faster recovery from illness.

We Q-balls are fortunate to be surrounded by an environment brimming with nature (tall trees and deer sightings are aplenty here). But even if you aren’t so “close” to nature at work, you can still realize its benefits by bringing the outdoors in. Here’s how:

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Say hello to some good old O2.

Arranging plants around your workspace improves the quality of the air you breathe. By increasing the oxygen in the air, you’ll improve your brain function and be more productive at work in the process.

Also, staying healthy in the office always feels like a struggle. But adding plants can help by raising the humidity in the air, which can aid in subduing sore throats and dry coughs, keeping you and your co-workers healthier.

Not sure where to start? Try out a Boston Fern, Ficus, or even a Succulent to introduce the benefits of nature into your work area! Just remember: green is good!

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Picture’ yourself in nature.

How about a relaxing oasis right in your cubicle? An effective natural productivity tip is to add a photo of a beautiful natural landscape to your screen saver, or even mount a few to your wall. 

This way, you can peer out your very own “window,” and for just a moment, visualize yourself in nature. Even a short break from pulling together marketing reports or grinding away at your computer can result in lowered stress and an improved ability to concentrate.

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Get out and catch some rays. 

Elevate your mood and reclaim your focus by enjoying an outdoor coffee break, or a micro-hike at lunchtime. Exposure to sunlight can increase serotonin levels and boost the immune system. Add in some exercise, and you’ll also improve cognitive ability and reduce stress.

Believe it or not, small, unexpected nooks of nature can be found all around you.  Websites and apps like AllTrails and TrailLink are a great resource to find trails and walking paths around your workplace (these can be especially great in the summertime).

Incorporating nature into your day is a great productivity tip, but it’s not the only one. If you’re into working up a mid-afternoon sweat, check out why ping-pong is another one of the best ways to be more productive at work.