The Benefits of Natural Light Exposure

Posted on: December 5, 2017

Recently, a study at the University of Oregon concluded that employees with better daylight exposure and views of nature took 6% less sick days.  90 percent of a business’ operating cost lies in salaries and benefits for its employees, so focusing on anything that affects the productivity of its employees should be a major focus for businesses.

Designers and architects are keenly aware of the relationship between the physical environment and the productivity of its staff.  But many businesses have yet to invest in this and allow for this relationship to influence its decisions on design decisions.  

The Benefits of Natural Light Exposure

  • Employees with windows in the workplace received 173 percent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night.
  • Workplaces with good daylight exposure can have up to a 40% increase in productivity and sales
  • Natural light improves moods and decreases stress
  • Employees consider daylight exposure to be the most desired element in their workspaces
  • Exposure to daylight and natural elements can increase creativity by up to 15%

 

Because natural light exposure has a significant impact on employee wellness and productivity, it is an investment that will reap many benefits for your company.  Did you know that when you increase the amount of natural lighting in your space, your company will:

Consume less energy

When you increase the amount of natural lighting in your workspace, you will use less artificial light.  That means less energy consumption and smaller bills to pay. Further, when your company reduces the amount of artificial lighting, you will reduce your carbon footprint, not only positively impacting the environment, but creating just another selling point to attract top talent and the new workforce to your company.

Create a Healthier Workplace

By transitioning to a workspace with more natural lighting, your employees will thank you.  Studies have shown that many common health issues faced by workers, such as headaches, eyestrain and other illnesses are directly related to artificial lighting. It also helps increase attentiveness and improve sleep quality for employees at night.

How To Maximize Natural Lighting?

Even if you aren’t ready to do a complete renovation to your space, there are a few small ways to increase the amount of daylight that your employees are exposed to.

You don’t need to do a complete renovation to your building to maximize the lighting in your space, there are actually small fixes you can do to let as much daylight into your workplace as possible.

Full pane windows–these will allow the most to light to enter your space

Glass Walls and Dividers–in an open plan, glass walls and room dividers will allow as much light as possible to flow through the space.  No more dark corners.

Skylights (if you work in a single story building)–Skylights are relatively inexpensive and they bring a lot of light into the space even when you have only a few exterior windows.

Change your floor plan–Even if you have limited exterior windows, consider moving your productivity centers, desks, workstations and conference tables to a location near the natural lighting source.