The sight of sunshine can make even the most frantic schedule seem more manageable. When it comes to planning an office fit out, it’s critical to consider the layout and which types of flooring and furniture will be best for your business, but it’s also wise to make every effort to maximise natural light. If you’re planning a makeover, here are 4 surprising reasons why natural light should be a key consideration for your office fit out.
1. Increased productivity
Studies show that exposure to natural light in a working environment increases productivity. Being close to a window or a door can energise you, make you feel more alert and awake and consequently improve your performance. If you are thinking of revamping your office, it’s hugely beneficial to try and ensure that every employee has access to natural light. You can optimise light by angling desks towards light sources, opting for light shades for the walls and flooring, and using mirrors to bounce light around the room.
2. Improved wellbeing
A lack of light can affect our moods and make us feel lethargic and claustrophobic. A study carried out by B L Collins found that 35% of employees highlighted a lack of natural light as a major problem in their workplace, with many associating darkness with isolation and drowsiness. Having large windows and open spaces improves wellbeing and morale, which has knock-on effects on performance and productivity.
3. Improved sleep quality
We all know that a bad night’s sleep can leave us feeling irritable, exhausted, and restless. Researched published by Psychology Today suggests that people who are exposed to natural light at work sleep better. The study showed that employees who work in offices that are bathed in natural light sleep for an average of 46 minutes longer than those who don’t have access to natural light. In an age where stress and fatigue are among the most common work-related illnesses, getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis is essential. Light exposure is linked to circadian rhythms, which affect our waking and sleeping cycles. While the best option is to make the most of natural light sources, it’s also beneficial to consider the impact of office lighting. In the winter, for example, when we’re lucky to even catch a glimpse of the sunshine on a grey day in the UK, artificial light sources play a vital role in illuminating spaces.
4. Reduced risk of health problems
As an employer, you want your team to be firing on all cylinders. While it’s not possible to prevent every ailment, studies show that ensuring employees have access to light spaces can have incredible health benefits. Research conducted by a team at Cornell University revealed that natural light decreases the risk of headaches, blurred vision and eye strain, all of which are common among office workers.
Many people focus their attention on interior design and furniture when planning an office fit out, but natural light exposure should also be a key concern. Being close to windows and working in a light, open, bright setting can help to improve wellbeing, health, productivity, and sleep quality.