Our offices are filled with artificial light. We sometimes can’t even tell the difference between day and night. Office workers keep straining their brain muscle, sitting at their desks all day long. We have lost touch with nature and our bodies. That is why it is time we bring nature back into our offices.
Life on a farm
Yesterday we visited a few farms near our home. The local farmers opened their (barn) doors for one day to show the city people their fascinating world. Unfortunately, most visitors did not appear to be too interested in the livestock or the farming machines that were on display. They just went for the farm food. Everybody was eating something: fresh farm fries, strawberries and icecream! Okay, I have to admit: me too. But I also took some time to check out the animals, machines and buildings. Trying to experience what life on a farm is really all about.
Office workers have lost touch with nature
The first thing that struck me was that farming is hard work. Long days and a lot of manual labor. But there is also a lot of administration that needs to be done. Besides this I also felt that, when you are working on a farm, you are obviously very close to nature all day long. Something that many office workers, like myself, often miss. We have lost touch with nature during the work day. Our offices are filled with artificial light and we sometimes can’t even tell the difference between day and night.
I personally make my money calling people, sending e-mails and writing. Sitting in an office or at home, using a smartphone and a computer. Many office workers like myself are sitting at a desk 99% of the time. Working with our heads all day long. We barely move and mainly use our brain to work. People that work on a farm use a healthy combination of brains and muscles.
Office workers have lost touch with their bodies
When the farmer’s muscles grow tired, they stop for a while and rest. That is their body telling them to take a break. When you are an office worker and you mainly use your brain, you don’t know when it is time to stop and rest. Your muscles are not aching and you just keep going to get the work done. You have a hard time focusing on our work. Probably straining and damaging your ‘brain muscle’.
The other difference is that the work of office workers is never really done. When you think you finish something, there is always more work to do. Farming is also never done but when the farmer is done milking the cows or plowing a field, he can scratch that of his (or her) list. There is no way that the field has suddenly doubled in size or there is a dozen of extra cows that need to be milked. Appearing out of nowhere, like magic.
Finally, I love the fact that most farmers will literally ‘reap what they sow’. They know that – most of the time – the work they put in will, in the end, reward them with an expected outcome. When you are an office worker, you will never know exactly what the fruit of your labor is. Most of the time you are just a small cog in the wheel of the machine that makes money.
Bring nature into our offices
I don’t think that all office workers should switch to farming now. But I do believe that the office designers need to bring nature into our offices. Nature inspired offices are a great example. Even a few plants can make a huge difference. We should also bring as much daylight as possible into our offices to get our bodies back in sync with nature.