L.L. Bean Launches Outdoor Co-Working Space on the Greenway
The pop-up is a part of the company's Be An Outsider At Work campaign.
We weren’t always desk curmudgeons hunched over tiny screens. And we didn’t always spend most of our lives breathing in artificial air surrounded by three walls of a cubicle. But for many 9-5 workers, this is their reality and it’s taking its toll, particularly when you can stare wistfully out a window at the beautiful summer weather.
L.L. Bean is doing something about this and bringing a pop-up workspace to the Greenway this week. The space, located at Wharf District Park, is complete with comfortable chairs, outlets and wi-fi, and even desks where you can bike while you work (forget about steps, get spinning!). The pop-up is part of the company’s #BeAnOutsider campaign, which is an initiative to bring awareness to all the benefits working outside has for us. The campaign also includes tips for office workers on how to get just a little more time outside by doing things like taking interviews outside, or brainstorming in the great outdoors, and going for a walk around the block during weekly check-ins.
“Much of our lives are spent squeezing outdoor time in on the weekends and after work,” Leigh Stringer, a workplace strategy expert, says. “But there is so much research that shows just how good being outside is for us including reducing stress, improving mood, and jumpstarting productivity.”
Stringer, who is the author of The Healthy Workplace: How to Improve the Well-Being of Your Employees—and Boost Your Company’s Bottom Line partnered with L.L. Bean to conduct a survey of 1,000+ indoor workers and found that 86 percent of people would like to spend more time outside during the workday and that 65 percent of those people saw their job as the biggest barrier.
The outdoor co-working space saw its first bunch of employees today from 1-5 p.m. and will be open tomorrow and Thursday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Schedule a time slot to work individually, or bring your entire company for team building or a meeting. The space can hold about 25, but Stringer says that’s the beauty of being outside—you never feel crowded and there’s always room for people to stand and walk around.
While debuting the concept in New York City last month, Stringer says after 45 media interviews she should have been exhausted. “But being outdoors made me feel so good,” she says. “You just feel different. It’s hard to explain. All the constraints of a typical office are gone and the creative juices just start flowing.”
Free, July 11 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and July 12 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Industrious Boston, Wharf District Park, Atlantic Ave. and High St., Boston, industriousoffice.com.