by Leigh Stringer

If you’ve bought anything from L.L.Bean recently you might have noticed their “Be An Outsider” campaign, encouraging people to go outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

We spend 95% of our waking hours indoors, and half of those hours are at work. We are more productive, more creative, less stressed and happier outside. It just makes sense. Being outdoors puts us in touch with the way we spent most of our days until just a few hundred years ago. It’s time we got outdoors more during the workday, not just evenings and weekends.

To encourage this, L.L.Bean, in partnership with Industrious (a global co-working company) just launched the first-ever outdoor coworking space in New York City’s Madison Square Park. It features individual work spaces, collaborative “rooms” and even a bike conference table. (I’m excited to be involved, helping to launch the next gen of this campaign, “Be An Outsider at Work”!)

Prior to launch, our team studied 1,050 American indoor workers – here is what we found:

  • 86% of indoor workers would like to spend more time outside during the workday.
  • 75% of indoor workers surveyed rarely or never take time to work outside.
  • 65% said their job is the biggest barrier to spending time outdoors, and this included a number of inhibitors, including technology, culture and “inertia” (they get lost in a task at work and forget to go outside).
  • Survey respondents claim good weather is the biggest motivator to get outside during the workday (51%). Other reasons include needing a mental escape (49%) or for a change of scenery (43%).
  • Workers rated emotional and physical benefits to working outside higher than “increased productivity,” though many believe being outdoors during the workday improves that too.
  • Workers claim they are most likely to do creative and relationship-based work outdoors and see less potential for work involving technology and equipment.
  • Workers strongly support the idea of outdoor workspace, yet company culture does not always support it (only half of respondents say their colleagues and boss would be supportive of working outside or would not care as long as work is getting done.)

L.L.Bean’s outdoor coworking space will travel to Boston, Philadelphia, and Madison, Wis., in the coming weeks. Check out to learn more and to see our latest research!

Photos courtesy of L.L.Bean