This article was originally published in the Harvard Business Review

Covid-19 and our efforts to combat it have caused a great deal of stress. According to the American Psychological Association, in 2020, nearly 8 in 10 American adults indicated that the pandemic was a significant source of stress in their lives. Even before these additional pressures, work-related stress had been increasing for decades in the United States. However, by accelerating the rise of hybrid and remote work, the pandemic has also given business leaders new opportunities to help their employees better access a major resource for stress management: nature. And the benefits of nature extend far beyond psychological well-being. Spending time in nature can also help employees be more inspired, creative, and socially connected at work.

Many people want to break from the traditional in-person, highly structured, five-day-a-week model of work. According to Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey, 87% of Americans who have been working remotely during the pandemic want to continue doing so at least one day a week, and 68% view a hybrid working arrangement as ideal.

We know that these alternative working models provide greater flexibility, reduced commuting time, and better work-life balance. But one benefit employers and employees may have overlooked is how remote and hybrid work can help them take advantage of the restorative and motivational power of nature.

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