‘We Moved Our Agency Office to a Forest’

7 months ago

Varn is committed to being sustainable and lowering carbon emissions

Agencies are trying to become sustainable and more productive at the moment.

Varn, in particular, has embraced this approach wholeheartedly, establishing an outdoor office space not only for their team but also for other businesses to use.

Found in Bradford upon Avon, the Varn team has the opportunity to work from this forested office once or twice a week. The space is well-equipped with Wifi, desks, chairs, and protection from the elements. And so far, the agency has found that the blend of nature and work is elevating the productivity levels of its staff.

Recognised for its commitment to leaving a beneficial imprint on the environment and the community, Varn is amping up its efforts. Their ultimate goals include transitioning to 100% renewable energy and to offset 50 times their carbon emissions by 2060.

The Varn Woodland, which has over 35,000 hardwood trees, including ash, oak, beech and cherry trees, is more than just a forest, it is also home to the agencies pioneering outdoors office. The unique workspace is powered by solar energy and a 15KW battery, meaning it runs entirely off grid.

Inspiration for the woodland office struck during lockdown, as the team needed a safe outdoor space to work – and rather than immediately ship everyone back to a normal office, Varn recognised the multiple benefits of working in nature. Since its inception, the team has noted a boost in mood and reduced stress levels and also an improvement in physical health as well.

This approach of working also resonates with mental health charity Mind’s mantra, which emphasises how therapeutic nature can be. Feedback from the team highlights that there has been an impressive 87% productivity level in the woodland office, an almost 10% jump from the 79% level in the convention office.

And clients also love it!

They say you never own a woodland but just manage it for the next generation

The space is not only used as an office, the team also use it to host events, most recently hosting the successful VarnFest Woodland Event, which targeted business leaders and delved into challenges that are faced in the agency world.

The VarnFest Future Leaders event is also set to become a regular event on the land. It is a non-profit venture that aims to guide young professionals at the onset of their careers.

According to Varn: “They say you never own a woodland but just manage it for the next generation. We now manage over 35,000 trees, consisting of predominantly hardwoods such as ash, oak, beech and cherry. The woodland management plan is to not only absorb as much CO2 as possible but to also promote natural biodiversity through a small scale ‘rewilding’ programme.”

Stay tuned for a more in-depth discussion about Varn’s sustainability efforts coming soon.

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