In any high-quality commercial design, form and function must co-exist. For your business, this means looking beyond the interior of your building or office and considering how to develop an attractive and purposeful outdoor space.
Now more than ever, there is a growing expectation that a well-crafted outdoor area is included in any commercial space. Particularly in the city of Austin, where residents are accustomed to enjoying time outdoors, outdoor amenities have become a necessity for virtually all types of businesses.
The benefits of a thoughtfully-designed commercial outdoor space aren’t limited to your relationships with clients; they also extend to your employees (and even your property value) as well.
The Importance of Outdoor Space in Commercial Developments
In the world of commercial development, space is at a premium. So, for many business owners, the decision to create an outdoor space comes down to the potential return on investment – will it really be worth the time and expense?
Simply put, yes.
Outdoor spaces in commercial developments, such as office buildings, restaurants, corporate campuses, and retail centers, have the power to transform the day-to-day experience of employees and clients alike. We don’t need scientific researchers to tell us that having access to an outdoor space is a positive feature in any workplace. In fact, all of us can easily understand the negative effects of spending eight-plus hours a day indoors: lowered productivity, increased stress, workplace dissatisfaction, low morale, and less productivity are side effects that many of us have experienced before.
Even just a half-hour spent outside can make a world of difference for the mental and physical well-being of employees. Companies that strive for an employee-centered company culture have learned that outdoor spaces don’t just benefit their staff; they support the success of the business as well.
Beyond employee morale, commercial outdoor spaces offer other benefits, such as:
Improved safety and accessibility
Elements such as paved walkways and decorative retaining walls can be an effective way to prioritize safety by establishing clear paths for foot traffic and designating “off-limits” areas. A walkway also reduces the risk of tripping and falling while simultaneously ensuring accessibility.
Streamlined landscape management
Do you currently have an outdoor area that is a hassle to keep clean and tidy? Depending on the present set-up, you could find yourself frustrated by a lack of cohesiveness, unsightly and overgrown vegetation, or debris that collects after a windy or rainy day. By investing in a professionally-designed outdoor space, one that functions as it should, you can actually reduce the cost and effort involved in managing your property’s landscaping.
Increased property value
Whether you’re planning to stay at your location for years to come or you’re considering selling in the near future, boosting your property value is always a plus. An attractive outdoor space can be a major selling point for a commercial property, especially as buyers begin to consider outdoor areas a non-negotiable.
A positive first impression
From the moment someone arrives at your business, they are building an initial impression of your property – and by extension, your business as a whole. A welcoming, aesthetically-pleasing outdoor space doesn’t just help your property look better; it also shows that your business is one that takes pride in everything that you do.
Design Ideas for Commercial Outdoor Spaces
Even if you’re starting from scratch, an outdoor space doesn’t have to involve a complicated or difficult design process.
Working with a professional design team, like the experts at Waterloo Design Build, is the smartest way to pull off a successful project. Additionally, having an understanding of how you can use outdoor spaces to meet the unique needs of your business will be incredibly helpful. For example, if you operate a small retail shop, a water feature might not be your top priority – on the other hand, a sleek and stylish water fountain could be the perfect finishing touch in an outdoor courtyard for a large office complex.
When you partner with the Waterloo team for Austin landscaping and commercial outdoor design, you’ll gain a knowledgeable guide that will help you navigate the process. But to help you get started, here are just a few commercial outdoor space ideas to inspire you:
Build an oversized patio to make the most of the existing green space.
If you already have landscaping in place, adding a patio is the perfect way to encourage employees and clients to enjoy your outdoor areas.
A commercial outdoor patio can be used as an alternative to the traditional indoor conference room, as a dining area for employee meal breaks, or even a quick meeting spot for one-on-one collaborations. For some businesses, the right patio area can even function as a space for events.
Maximize the functionality of the patio space by incorporating features such as outdoor electricity so that people are able to plug-in mobile devices such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops. A covered patio is ideal because it can be used in all types of weather. Depending on what landscaping you already have – if any – you might also consider constructing planters along the border of the patio, to add some color and visual interest.
Incorporate a water feature to enhance the look and feel of an outdoor space.
Nearly every outdoor space can benefit from the addition of water, especially when you consider the uniquely serene ambiance a water feature can create. On a commercial property, where activity and stress levels can run high, a beautiful water feature can contribute to both the look and feel of a space.
Picture this: a contemporary-style water garden centered in a quiet courtyard in your corporate campus, complete with a peaceful waterfall and eye-catching river rocks. It would be a delightful focal point for your business, while the gentle sound of rushing water would set a tranquil tone. Before long, the outdoor space would become a gathering spot for employees and clients, as well as a destination for anyone that needs just a few moments to “get away” from a busy day.
Set up small outdoor living spaces and seating areas throughout your property.
Not every outdoor space has to be large or feature an array of design elements. In fact, some of the most useful commercial outdoor areas are the quiet corners and small, peaceful seating areas. As valuable as it is to have outdoor living areas where large groups can gather, it’s equally important to set aside spots that have a smaller footprint. This adds to the versatility of your commercial outdoor spaces while also making your property particularly unique.
For example, a decorative privacy screen can be used to designate a modest patio space, where two to three chairs and a petite table are contained. Or, a narrow pergola can be built to make use of an awkwardly-shaped side yard, then staged for small group meet-ups with a comfortable outdoor sectional.
Elevate Your Commercial Property with Outdoor Design Services in Austin
From corporate campuses and retail centers to restaurants, healthcare facilities, and hotels, businessowners are redefining their outdoor commercial spaces to reflect today’s modern values, needs, and aesthetics. And here in Austin, Waterloo Outdoor Design Build takes pride in serving the business community as a leading provider of landscaping design and installation services.
We take an innovative approach to commercial landscape design in Austin, tailoring our processes and design elements according to your business. Together, we can craft a commercial outdoor space that makes a positive impression on clients and employees alike.
For more information about our Austin commercial landscape design services, including our portfolio of past designs and favorite projects, we invite you to connect with the Waterloo team today.