Happiness & Wellbeing

How Natural Light Improves Productivity at the Office

By wizu | 06 November 2022

How does it feel to work in a dimly lit room all day long? For one thing, you may notice that it makes for a gloomy atmosphere. That’s not the best way to improve your mood! For another, when there’s not enough light in the workspace, it can be challenging to get certain tasks completed. In addition, you may not have much energy to put into those tasks. The reason for all of this? There’s not enough natural light in the workspace. 

Natural light, with views of nature outside, is a perk employees want the most, even over salary and wage increases. That may come as a surprise, but scientific studies have shown that natural light is essential for humans in any environment, including the office. 

In this article, we explore how natural light improves productivity in the workplace. 


Natural Light Improves Productivity 

Studies show that natural light is essential for employee wellbeing and productivity. But how can light from the sun provide any benefits? Let’s take a look.


1. Improves Mood

Natural light has been shown to improve mood in humans, especially those people who are affected by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). These individuals are strongly affected by the shorter days and longer nights of the winter months. It’s easy for depression to set in during this time. 

Scientists believe that lower amounts of light affect the hypothalamus in the brain. This is the part of the brain that regulates the body’s internal clock and the production of melatonin and serotonin. 

People who have SAD may experience a drop in mood or depression during the darker winter months. The result can be lowered productivity at work.


2. Creativity

But natural light is responsible for more than just improving mood. It also works to stimulate creativity in humans. Here, think of the symbol of creative thought—the light bulb! 

Science follows the symbol of light, demonstrating that sitting near light is enough to boost creativity in humans. Studies have shown that exposing individuals to a light bulb was enough to boost insight, problem-solving, and more. 

So, many businesses are interested in adding large windows to their offices to bring more light in for their employees.


3. Improved Sleep

Natural light has also been shown to improve sleep. Studies have shown that employees who spend their time in low artificial light (with no exposure to natural light) experience almost an hour’s less sleep than those who work in an office with windows. 

Doctors have long known that more sleep boosts productivity; sleep is essential for the restoration of the mind and body. People who have insomnia have trouble focusing on tasks and are not able to get as much work done. 

On the other hand, employees who are exposed to natural light sleep better. The result is improved concentration and productivity.


4. Vitamin D Production 

Vitamin D is imperative for our health, and natural light stimulates the body to create Vitamin D. However, employees who don’t receive enough access to sunlight are not able to make Vitamin D. This leads to a deficiency in the vitamin that can cause health issues with bones, muscles, teeth, and more. 

In addition, Vitamin D deficiency in the workplace can also cause low immunity. People with love immunity may be sick more often, which has a direct impact on their work. 

When employees have access to natural light, they have the energy and health to be more productive.


5. Eye Health

Studies have shown that natural light can improve eye health and boost productivity. Some studies have shown that employees with enough natural light experience less eye strain, fewer headaches, and other benefits. The result was an increase in their productivity. 

In addition, breaks away from their screens can reduce eye strain and improve eyesight. When employees can see, they can focus and get things done. 

As you can see, natural light is extremely beneficial to employee health and wellbeing. Healthy, happy employees also get more done. 


How to add More Natural Light to the Office

When you consider the huge impact natural light has on employees and their productivity, you may want to consider bringing more natural light into the office. We’ve put together a few ideas on ways to increase the natural light in your workplace and methods to make the most of that light. 


Install Larger Windows

One of the easiest ways to increase the natural light in an office is to install larger windows. Larger windows allow more light to stream in and reach more of the office space. 

However, window installation can mean downtime and be expensive. So, we have some other methods to consider that bring more light into the office. 


Hang Mirrors

If you’re in a small office or a space that’s rented, you may want to consider hanging mirrors. When mirrors are hung opposite existing windows, they help distribute existing light more effectively. The mirrors can also spread light to areas that are farther from the windows. 


Install Skylights

Another way to bring more light into the office is by installing skylights. They allow more light to enter the office space from above and bring light to those who aren’t able to sit near windows. 


LED Light System

You may also want to consider installing an LED light system that mimics natural light throughout the day. The systems start the day with light that’s similar in colour to the natural morning light. As you go through the day, the system continues to make slight adjustments to the interior light to resemble daylight. 

At the end of the day, the LED system matches the colour and amount of daylight for that time of day. 

The system can bring more light to everyone in the office and mimic daylight, too. Employees find they feel better and sleep better with such a lighting system. 


Install Glass Walls

Another way to effectively use natural light in the office is by installing glass walls. Glass walls allow natural light to flow through, touching more parts of the office. On the other hand, solid walls block light, making the office too dim. 

It’s also possible to use acrylic walls if glass walls are not possible. 


Summing It Up

Natural light is necessary for an office. It improves employee wellbeing and mood, which directly improve their productivity. 

So, if your employees seem tired and slow, you may want to consider bringing in more natural light or making more effective use of the natural light you already have in the office.

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