Office window views: View features trump nature in predicting employee well-being

Emmy van Esch, Robert Minjock, Stephen M. Colarelli, Steven Hirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A growing number of organizations are re-designing workplaces to give employees greater exposure to natural views, which frequently improve well-being. But what is it about views of nature that produce these benefits? Is it the overall view or the particular features within a view? If it is features, what features have the greatest effects on well-being, and are these features particular to natural settings or might they generalize to built settings? We conducted two studies to examine these questions. In Study 1, we found that people could distinguish natural view features and that view features elicited psychological reactions congruent with characteristics of those features. In Study 2, we found that features of office window views better predicted psychological, physical, and job-specific well-being than the overall amount of nature in the view. Perhaps the most intriguing result was that this also occurred with view features in built environments. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-64
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Employee well-being
  • Environmental perception
  • Office environments
  • Office window views


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