Most of us understand on a deep level that our bodies crave natural light. Sunlight, being outdoors, fresh air… The truth is, human beings were absolutely meant to enjoy the natural environment.
The trouble is, most of us need to earn money by working indoors. And while a well-lit workplace helps us stay alert and working hard throughout the day, the best way to help employees be at their peak performance is by flooding your office with as much natural light as possible.
Designing offices to allow for plenty of natural light is becoming a high priority, but why is that? Many studies have shown the benefits of natural lighting in a workplace directly impact the health of employees, overall productivity and a businesses’ bottom line.
1) Employee well-being
Some of the biggest health hazards of working in an office are related directly to poor lighting and poor use of natural lighting. Issues such as eyestrain, headaches, fatigue and other related illnesses have been tied directly to lack of natural lighting.
Studies have found proper use of natural lighting not only helps with these issues, but helps workers stay alert, active and more productive. One lesser-known reason for that is because good natural lighting has been linked to better sleeping habits.
According to an article in Psychology today, Neuroscientists at Northwestern University found workers in offices with windows enjoyed nearly 200 percent more light during the day, and that led to “an average of 46 minutes more sleep per night.” This study showed workers with less lighting during the day had lower quality of life, higher physical problems and less vitality.
The study overall showed better lighting led to less sleep disturbance, which led to better daytime performance.
It stands to reason rested and alert workers are going to be more productive, right? But exactly how much? Here’s an example from ErgoDynamix: The Lockheed plant in Seattle redesigned its facility to make daylight its main source of lighting. It then saw an increase of employment productivity by 15 percent. Meanwhile, a West Bend Mutual Insurance facility saw a 16 percent rise after a lighting upgrade.
Obviously, productivity isn’t easy to measure and many factors play into overall employment productivity. However, studies have consistently shown natural light has helped improve factors such as absenteeism, employee retention and employee well-being.
3) Going green
It may seem obvious that cutting back on the electric bill has a big impact your bottom line. And it can be pretty significant. According to ErgoDynamix, that Lockheed plant in Seattle saw a reduction in lighting costs of $500,000.
But there’s an added benefit to consider: The Environment. Efficient use of natural light means cutting back on your carbon footprint in the long run.
Natural light in the workplace is a huge benefit to your bottom line, the health of your employees and the overall productivity of your company. But how do you do that, exactly? Innovative Office Solutions has the answers to that. Our certified designers understand how to let the sun shine in on your employees and allow them to use their natural abilities to the fullest. Get a free quote today and let IOS help you with your new office design.