Anyone who has worked in a darkly lit office understands how refreshing it is to step outside for lunch or at the end of the day.
You feel alive again when you look up at the sky and feel the sun on your face. It is a natural adrenaline boost.
And the fact that you feel this way is not a fluke; it is basic science. Humans, like plants, require a certain quantity of light to maintain their health. And not just any light, but the genuine thing.
With so much emphasis on incorporating new tools and contemporary designs to create the ideal office space, the truth is that one of the most crucial variables in increasing your employees' mood and productivity is also one of the most basic: make sure they have enough natural light.
Being outside and exposed to its fundamental properties, such as natural light, is instinctive and one of our primal wants as humans.
Natural light has numerous advantages, and we will look at how natural light in the workplace may assist employees and how we can maximize natural light through good office design in this article.
People flourish on natural light, but we have created a world where we spend most of our time indoors, with limited access to it, and our goal as office designers is to reverse this trend by designing workspaces that welcome natural light.
But why is natural light so important in the office, and what are the real benefits?
Why is Natural Light Important?
Natural light is essential for keeping your body clock on track. When the sun begins to set at the end of the day, the reduced natural light prompts a series of internal signals that begin to prepare the body for sleep.
If you have not gotten enough natural light that day, your system will be thrown off since your body will not feel like it is time to go to bed yet, regardless of the hour.
This might lead to sleep disturbances and restless nights, which are bad for your general health.
And, regardless of how much coffee they consume, tired employees are not the most effective employees.
The Connection between Natural Light and Well-Being
Natural light is beneficial to our health and can help us feel better and more fulfilled, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.
Well-being entails more than just feeling good; it also entails operating effectively, and research demonstrates that the two are intertwined.
Happier people are more active, creative, problem-solvers, and better communicators, and better access to natural light can help them achieve these goals.
How Productivity is Being Affected
Workers are both a company's greatest asset and its greatest expense, therefore managing this resource for maximum productivity, efficiency, and sustainability is vital.
People who are well-rested and happy are more productive, but there is also a clear, undeniable correlation between enhanced productivity and increased exposure to natural light in the office.
Natural light has been shown to boost concentration and short-term memory, which has obvious implications for work performance.
According to studies, when companies shift to facilities with better natural light, productivity can increase by up to 20%.
Additionally, absenteeism tends to decrease in organizations that recognize and act on the relevance of daylighting.
How to Bring Natural Light into the Workplace
As office designers, we must attempt to bring as much natural light into the workplace as possible. While this can be a difficult undertaking, depending on the building and space in question, we can make basic changes like:
- It is crucial to place workspaces and key locations near windows and natural light – do not put rooms that are not used daily in light-rich regions.
- Incorporate sophisticated technologies to ensure that natural light and artificial LED lights work in tandem to save energy consumption while also optimizing indoor lighting.
- Use outdoor facilities such as rooftops and garden spaces as workstations, which are useful in good weather and allow employees to work, hold meetings, or simply have lunch.
- There are many other elements to consider and adopt to maximize natural light in the workplace, but these are an excellent place to start.
Not all offices can magically transform into futuristic, heavenly workspaces. But, you do not necessarily have to be revolutionary to make your office a healthier and more productive space.
Simple adjustments here and there and maybe even changing your old office equipment to a lighter and brighter color can invite the natural light in.
Another useful tip and a great addition to your office setup are having artificial light.
Consider the impact of different color grades on alertness and performance when purchasing ceiling lights for common areas and meeting rooms, ranging from cold blue lighting that evokes a feeling of alertness similar to that of a blue sky to warmer tones that lean more towards the calming effect of a sunset or campfire.