The benefits

What social scientists and scientists tell us

Research has shown that within workplaces nature-based interventions (NBIs) improve employee well-being at an individual level and this also impacts at the organisational level with better levels of mental health and well-being, stronger teams and improved employee engagement and work culture.

Nature-based interventions (NBIs) can improve employee well-being in a range of ways: mental health benefits of spending time in nature include perceived and physiological stress reduction [1], [2]. Being in nature promotes relaxation and can help better regulate feelings of anxiety and worry [3]. Physiologically, spending time in nature can reduce blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. When cortisol levels are reduced, there can be a decrease in general anxiety and an overall improvement in mood [4]. Other anxiety reducing hormones like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins are released due to the exposure of a calming natural environment [5], [6], [7].

In a work setting, access and exposure to plants and nature at work can improve workplace attitudes and reduce stress from the job at hand [8], [9], [10]. NBIs also offer an opportunity for social bonding between workplace teams and departments [11], [12]. The promotion of social connection through nature-based activities can help people create support networks [13] which, in turn, can increase one’s sense of belonging at work and make it easier to cope with negative emotions [14]. When improvements in well-being occur at an individual level, employees are likely to experience less burnout and higher levels of work engagement and ability [15].