No matter how much sunlight you see outside, when you come to the office every morning, you can feel trapped. Between the bare walls and flickering lights, the stark office environment can stifle your creativity and hurt your eyes.
As a manager or business owner, you don’t want your employees to suffer from claustrophobia at the office. If you focus on natural light when you design or install your workspace, you’ll create happier, healthier, more productive employees and better profits for your business.
Lighten the Mood
According to the Lighting Research Center, a lack of natural light can cause headaches, irritability, and even depression. In contrast, buildings that are well lit and use natural light have several benefits:
Reduced mood swings
All of these effects can greatly influence your employees’ performance at work. Unhealthy, depressed employees are a burden to work with because they cause more office conflict and file more complaints.
On the other hand, healthy, happy, productive employees are more likely to love their job, love their coworkers, and invest the time and effort to perform at the highest level of their ability. Natural light is just one way to create a positive, cheerful work environment for everyone in your office.
Change Your Office, Change Your Life
When you remodel your business, make sure that all of your workspaces-from the smallest cubicle to the biggest board room-have access to natural light. All employees deserve to feel comfortable in the office, and you can help create that environment.
Here are five techniques that will bring natural light into your office and new energy to your employees. Consider these five techniques when you remodel or rearrange your office environment:
1. Place employees near a source of natural light.
If you are fortunate enough to have windows in your office, let your employees bask in the warm glow of their light. Arrange desks to give your employees a view of the outside world.
Studies show that even a brief glimpse out the window can help you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Who knows-maybe the vistas of nature or the view of the bustling crowd will inspire your employees on their next project.
Take care not to cover up windows with dark, heavy curtains or blinds that obscure the light. Though nobody wants to get blinded by direct sunlight at their desk, softer grey or beige window coverings can diffuse the light without making your employees feel like they’re shut up in Dracula’s castle.
2. Choose your lighting fixtures to imitate natural light.
Lighting fixtures that hum, buzz, or shine tinted yellow light on your employees can make them feel anxious and uncomfortable at their workspace without them even knowing it. According to Northwestern University, the best kind of light for employee health and well-being is “white light.”
In an ideal situation, this light would come directly from the sun-but light bulbs close to 3000K emit light that imitates the color of natural light. Avoid all fluorescent lighting fixtures if you can.
3. Divide your office with transparent panels.
Good fences may make good neighbors, but thick walls can make isolated employees. Consider a transparent divider or a Plexiglas window to divide up your rooms without excluding anyone. These transparent panels will also allow natural light to illuminate several rooms at once.
4. Replace solid doors with window lites and panels.
Doors with windows invite conversation and provide another opening for natural light to flow through. A window in your inter-office doors can erase the heavy feeling of metal or wood entrances, not to mention let you check on your employees without leaving the room.
For your exterior doors, a sliding glass door can also create more natural light and give your employees the sense that they work out in the open, not in a confined space.
5. Take advantage of reflective surfaces like mirrors.
If changing the layout of your office isn’t possible, purchase mirrors or glass shelves and tables to reflect as much natural light as possible. A mirror placed opposite to a window can give the illusion of twice as much light, which means doubling your coworkers’ happiness and enthusiasm.
Use the Resources You Have
You may not find it viable to remodel your office and include windows-depending on the city you live in. After all, offices in regions that suffer from hurricanes or extreme heat or cold may not benefit from exterior window installations.
However, natural light is a necessity for any room. Even if you don’t down walls or install floor-to-ceiling windows, you too can create more natural light for your business. Start with your existing structure and add a few features at a time. Soon you’ll see the difference that natural light can make in your workspace.
FAS Windows & Doors is Central Florida’s largest volume window and door dealer, with direct from the factory pricing for replacement and new construction windows and doors. We have showrooms and distribution facilities in the major metro areas of Tampa, FL and Orlando, FL. Call us at 877-289-0825 to see how we can assist you with your windows and door needs today!