In mid-March, as new cases and deaths linked to COVID-19 began to grow rapidly, the UK Government made the decision to introduce strict lockdown measures.
As scientists and healthcare professionals work tirelessly and heroically to combat the physical impacts of the virus, their academic counterparts pointed to another potentially crippling aspect associated with lockdown itself.
Professor Rory O’Connor of the University of Glasgow has instigated a survey in collaboration with Samaritans and the Scottish Association for Mental Health.
O’Connor notes: “Understandably, the initial response was about the physical containment of the virus, but we need to now ensure that we are protecting people’s mental health. The professor goes on to draw upon the links between lockdown and anxiety, depression and stress.
The general consensus across the nation has been one of how much we take our freedom for granted and how appreciative we are of the great outdoors.
Working habits will inevitably change post lockdown. Tragically, the economic downturn, which we are yet to know the extent of, will critically impact many businesses and result in workplace redundancies.
Beyond the doom and gloom of the other side, an opportunity presents itself – one that allows us to take advantage of the aforementioned freedom and connection with the outdoors – that we have been limited to during the lockdown. We are talking about getting a job that allows you to work beyond the confines of an office.
In this article, we look at the plethora of reasons why working outdoors is particularly beneficial and go on to explore some of the roles that will offer you such possibilities.
It should come as no surprise that working in an office, being cooped up all day, can be damaging for your health.
In a study conducted by Career Builder, it became apparent that many employees who participated felt as if working in an office environment catered towards significant weight gain. 56% said that actually sitting at a desk all day caused them to pile on the pounds, while 17% pointed to workplace celebrations that included birthday cake was the reason behind them beefing up.
Most offices, unless you are sitting at a window seat, will be swamped with artificial light and offer no access to the natural alternative. Mental Health Research UK suggest: “The lack of daily sunlight can lead to feelings of lethargy and depression, which can develop further into SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).”
Meanwhile, a study by BigRentz found that the risk of heart disease is increased by 64% through sitting down at a desk all day.
Now, for the positives that nature brings.
Spending time al fresco, approximately 20 minutes per day, has been found to provide the same energy levels as a cup of coffee. Not only does it boost your enthusiasm, however, it is also linked to getting your creative juices flowing and enhance your problem-solving skills by 60%.
Have you ever wondered why David Attenborough continually appears so zen? Well, alongside offering mind enhancing qualities, outdoor activity has been linked to the alleviation of stress, by more than 12%.
Perhaps most importantly, however, exposure to natural light has been discovered to translate into 46 minutes additional sleep per night, a considerable benefit for both your mental and physical health!
The dream job
Let’s take a look at the potential roles which you could lead you to spending significantly more time, if not all your time, outdoors.
Have you recognised a passion for landscaping during lockdown? Maybe your time spent in your garden has allowed you to channel your inner Alan Titchmarsh?
If so, why not set out on a career that leads your right down the garden path? Not only will landscaping provide you with an opportunity to get creative with nature, it provides an unprecedented level of accomplishment matched with an even greater return on investment in regard to your pay cheque.
As a role, this might be one which surprises you in terms of how flexible you can be. This isn’t just a seasonal job, thanks to the fact ski resorts operate all around the world.
Become a ski instructor and you could work in Argentina, Austria, Japan, Switzerland and even here in the UK, intertwining your passion for the slopes and imparting wisdom.
The National Trust houses more than 500 heritage sites across the UK and boasts an impressive membership of 5.6 million, something which will surely boom come the end of lockdown.
What better way to spend your professional career and reap the rewards of the idyllic scenery on offer here in the UK, than to explore everything the nation has to offer with the mass of visitors who flock each and every year?
We’ve detailed some of the top reasons why you might choose to swap the office with what lies beyond post-lockdown, but can you think of any more?