Who doesn’t want an office with a view? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who prefers a dim cubicle. Windows offer workers more than a more interesting space. It all has to do with the benefits of natural light in the office.
Natural light has a whole host of benefits for workers, improving their health, sleep habits – even their productivity! On the other hand, relying primarily on artificial lighting has more drawbacks than you might expect. Our blog goes over the many reasons in favor of natural lighting – and how to enjoy it in your workspace without overheating.
The Problems With Artificial Light
Artificial lighting runs havoc on our circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is the internal process that regulates our sleep cycle. When all is well, it naturally follows the cycle of sun so that we are alert and energetic during daylight hours and asleep at night.
However, spending all day in a completely artificially lit environment confuses the biological signals in our bodies. To our brain, the peak of the day stretches on for hours after the sun starts to set, which can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep at night. The effects of this goes way beyond a little extra sleepiness. Long term circadian rhythm disruptions are linked to a whole host of medical conditions: diabetes, obesity, depression, and tumors just to name a few.
Even if they aren’t aware of the science behind why, office workers definitely have noticed that too much artificial light is making them miserable. In a poll of 1,614 workers in the US, outdoor views and daylight were found to be among the most desired features in a workplace. To attract the best in the industry to your company, lack of natural light isn’t something you can afford to ignore.
Do you know how much you’re paying to light your building? Probably more than you think. Lighting costs make up 20-40% of an office building’s energy bill. That’s a serious chunk of change for something that – when relied on too much – is actively making your workers miserable. Hard to beat the price of free for sunlight – so take advantage as much as you can. Optimizing your use of natural light can lower your electrical bill up to 52%.
The Benefits of Natural Light in the Office
Getting more natural sunlight hugely improves your physical wellness. For office workers, daylight specifically improves many of the symptoms long hours at a computer screen can cause. Studies report that workers in naturally lit offices suffer 51% eyestrain, 63% fewer headaches, and 56% less drowsiness. Working at a computer 40 hours a week puts a lot of strain on our bodies. Daylight is a simple but powerful way to counteract that.
We already went over how artificial light disrupts our sleep cycle. But how much sleep are you really losing out on? One study found that workers with windows got an average of 46 minutes more sleep every night. Any night owl who has to drag themselves out of bed each morning knows an extra 46 minutes is an eternity. A good night’s sleep is vital for your performance at work. A well-rested employee is someone with better focus, improved memory, and more energy. All of these factors lead into our next point on the benefits of natural light in the office.
Speaking practically for your business, what does more natural lighting mean for day-to-day work? We’ve covered how daylight makes your employees more rested, more alert, and in better health. These benefits naturally translate into higher productivity. After all, a person struggling with insomnia or headaches is not going to be performing their best through the workday.
With links to improved memory and concentration, increasing natural daylight has meant an increase in productivity by as much as 20% in some offices. Twenty percent!! Think about what that could mean for your business. 20% more of your to-do list finished. 20% faster turn-around on projects. 20% more sales.
Using Solar Control Film to Enjoy the Benefits of Natural Light in the Office – Without The Cons
The benefits of natural light are clear and overwhelming, however there are some drawbacks. If you’re located in a sunny climate, a lot of sunlight can easily edge from energizing to unpleasant. Glare on bright days and heat on warm days are two of the major problems naturally lit offices face. However, there are better options than keeping the blinds closed all day.
Solar control window film is the perfect solution for letting you enjoy all the benefits of more sunlight without any of the problems. It significantly reduces the glare that too bright light causes when it bounces off your monitors. At the same time, unlike curtains or blinds, it still allows in natural light – just while reducing any bright severity.
Another advantage of solar control film is reducing your office’s heat gain. During the hot summer months, a lot of sun quickly goes from pleasant to uncomfortable. Not to mention expensive if you have to run the AC all day. Solar film reflects heat away, keeping interior temperatures cooler by as much as 9°. That’s not just great for your employees, it’s great for your budget. Lowering your building’s temperature just a few degrees can save accompany up to 30% in cooling costs.
Catch Some Rays
The arguments supporting the benefits of natural light in the office are compelling. Workers who have more windows get to enjoy better sleep, fewer headaches, less eyestrain, improved memory and much more. And the results aren’t just great for an individual’s wellness, it’s valuable for a company’s success.
Take advantage of the natural light your workspace is getting by moving around desks and swapping out blinds for solar film. You simply can’t afford to pass up these benefits! If your business is interested in solar film as part of your plan to optimize natural lighting, contact MetWest today!