Applying Restorative Environments in the Home Office While Sheltering-in-Place

Curtis M. Craig, Brittany N. Neilson, George C. Altman, Alexandra T. Travis, Joseph A. Vance

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this review was to spotlight specific methods for people working from home to apply restorative environment research to improve productivity and mental health during shelter-in-place. Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to sheltering-in-place and telework. While necessary, these strategies may lead to negative consequences such as social isolation and worse performance. However, nature environments have been shown to have a variety of positive effects in several different settings, including improved attention, positive affect, and increased job satisfaction, and these may be translated to the home workspace setting. Method: This provides a narrative review of the environmental psychology literature, describing articles involving nature in a task performance or stress context and how it has been applied. It then moves on to discuss how these findings could possibly be applied in the context of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: Although beneficial results are mixed, the review found a variety of relatively simple and cost-effective methods that could assist workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, including taking a break in nature and implementing nature in the workspace. Application: The application of restorative environment research could be an efficient way of mitigating the negative psychological effects due to at-home sheltering and telework in order to combat COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1362
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number8
Early online dateJan 7 2021
StatePublished - Jan 7 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2021, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.


  • affective factors
  • home health
  • job stress
  • stress
  • workspace design


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