Access to natural light makes staff 40% more productive
Australian based cohere take wellbeing incredibly seriously, urging us all to overcome the concept of doing less harm, and replacing it with the idea of doing more good.
Their Rewilding Design project uses this as a foundation to explore the connection which humans have with natural light. They have published an infographic which reveals that in offices where staff have access to windows (therefore natural light), they typically get 46 more minutes of sleep per night
40% of those workplaces with natural light sources near workers, experienced up to 40% improvement in productivity levels. A space containing natural elements (including light) were found to be 15% more creative overall than those without.
These are significant enough increases that it’s worth considering what can be done to improve workspaces.
The health benefits of natural light in the workplace
Well, aside from the obvious fact that it helps staff see better and therefore reduces eye strain and headaches, natural light actually brings about a number of other wellbeing benefits.
- Regulates Vitamin D, serotonin and melatonin levels, which are all essential ingredients for regulating mood
- Promotes healthy eye development
- Regulates the body’s internal clock and biological cycle (known as the circadian rhythm)
- Helps reduce stress levels and anxiety
In fact, the Global Human Spaces report by leading commercial design company Interface revealed that natural light is the most requested natural element in workplace design.
Improving natural light access in work
It sounds obvious, but don’t block natural light sources. You’d be surprised at how often windows are obscured with storage, furniture, or whiteboard walls. If you close the blinds against the piercing morning sun, try to remember to open them again once it’s moved around later in the day.
It’s impossible to give every single person full access to natural lighting at all times, we get that. Adopting agile working patterns allows staff to move fluidly across workspaces, sharing natural light as they go.
Consider an open plan workplace. Walls, dividers, and doors all block light. Transitioning into an open plan office will break these barriers down, and make for a brighter working environment.
Hold outdoor meetings. As well as maximising the light inside, try getting outside during the day. Do this by implementing more outdoor meetings, or taking phone calls on foot.