Burn-outs are an increasing problem worldwide, and the Netherlands is no exception. Burn-outs are a stress-related disease, and especially employees experience high stress levels in the workplace. A few measures are already taken by employers, but none of these have anything to do with the physical work environment. Whereas there is profound evidence that nature and the environment is effecting the mental health state of people. Nature reduces stress and restores people’s attention, and should be seen as our most vital health resource. Intervening in the work environment by designing a healthy work landscape, will contribute in the reduction of stress and thus burn-outs.
A lot of knowledge and proof is available regarding the stress reducing and restorative effect of nature. Unfortunately, it is all very theoretical and both practical and spatial implications are lacking.
This thesis examined how a healthy work landscape can be designed. The first part of the research was focused on developing design principles, and the second part on the case: Novio Tech Campus. Thereafter, a design is made to turn the existing work environment into a healthy work landscape.
The result is a design for the Novio Tech Campus in Nijmegen, where the design principles are applied. The design principles are divided in three categories: general, private and public, and can be easily combined in the design. Furthermore, other aspects as public facilities, climate and biodiversity can be included in a healthy work landscape as well. As long as the design principles are present, the design will support mental health.
A healthy and attractive design is essential to tackle the issue of burn-outs, but the daily routine of employees should change as well. Employees should become aware of the importance and effectiveness of nature in relation to their mental health. This thesis could be seen as a way to increase the awareness of the relation between nature and health, and to motivate designers to integrate this aspect in future designs and provide employees, but also other people, with a boost of nature.