It’s often taken for granted, but these days natural daylight can easily be considered a “work perk”. There is no secret that natural daylight improves not only quality of life but workplace productivity too.
But, as we go into the darkest and shortest days of the year, most office workers will be affected more and more by the poor lighting.
According to Healthline, over 1,600 employees ranked “access to natural light and views of the outdoors” as their number one desire for a workplace environment.
These days, many offices are located in high rise buildings in crowded cities. Natural light can be a challenge and in some cases, even a luxury.
1. Natural Daylight and Mental Health
The average adult in the UK spends 90% of their time indoors, research has found. It is now more important than ever for employers to take into consideration staff wellbeing when choosing their workspace.
It has been proven that being in a work environment without natural daylight for a long period of time can affect your mental health. Conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression or seasonal affective disorder are linked to the disruption of the natural circadian rhythm.
Being exposed to natural light and soaking up vitamin D helps employees become happier and less affected by stress.
2. Natural Daylight and Physical Health
Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D. When lighting in a workplace is mainly artificial, a vitamin D deficiency is very common.
Vitamin D is important for maintaining your immune system, maintaining body weight and cognitive functions. An environment without daylight, and therefore without Vitamin D, can be directly linked to a series of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, asthma and more likely to catch the flu.
According to a study conducted by Cohere, workers in offices without windows took 6.5% more sick days each year than workers in offices with ample natural light.
3. Daylight Promotes Productivity
According to a neuroscience study, people with direct exposure to daylight tend to sleep 46 minutes longer on average. This results in employees starting their workday more rested and less stressed.
Illuminated spaces with natural elements improve creativity and boost morale as well as reducing eyestrain and headaches.
According to research carried out by Eco-Business, employees in workplaces with plenty of daylight had up to a 40% increase in productivity and sales. A healthy environment is the foundation for employees to be creative, happy and creative.
In an ideal scenario, many of us prefer sea or garden views outside their office window. In reality, most of us are stuck with the view of a dull car park or the back of another skyscraper.
Whatever the case, it’s important to maximise the amount of natural daylight you’re getting in your office space. Simple adjustments such as facing the desks towards a window can make a world of difference.
A way to maximise the daylight coming through is to maintain your office windows clean and sparkly. This will allow the most light to come through.
If an office is located close to the top floor of a building, installing sun tunnels might be a gamechanger for the employees.