Natural light can be a major perk for office employees, especially when they spend the majority of their time indoors. Entering a bright space filled with sunlight and refreshing views of the outdoors for an 8-hour day at the office makes work a little more enjoyable. And, the many health benefits that natural light can offer you and your employees make adding a few windows to your workspace totally worthwhile.
Benefits of Natural Light in the Workplace
Better sleep is one of the most impactful benefits of natural light. A study performed by Northwestern Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine showed that workers exposed to natural light in the workplace have better sleep quality and longer sleep duration than those with less natural light exposure in the workplace. The study revealed that workers with a window view slept 46 minutes longer on average than those without, while windowless workers reported poor sleep quality and sleep disturbances.
Better Overall Health
When exposed to sunlight, the skin absorbs vitamin D. According to Healthline, vitamin D prevents bone loss and reduces the risk of heart disease, weight gain and various cancers. Aside from boosting vitamin D levels, natural light reduces eye strain, headaches and the health risks of fluorescent lighting.
The health benefits of natural light also extend to mental wellness. Exposure to sunlight throughout the day wards off seasonal depression and improves overall mood, making for a much more positive indoor work environment.
In a 2003 California Energy Commission study, employees working in a natural light setting were observed to have higher levels of concentration and better short-term memory recall. Visionary effects of natural light, including decreased eyestrain and enhanced eyesight, mean fewer screen breaks and more productivity. Natural light in the office also translates to more alert, engaged and creative employees.
Lower Utility Costs
Using natural light to illuminate your workspace can improve your office’s energy efficiency and lower your monthly utility costs. If you’re designing your office for energy-efficient lighting, north- and south-facing windows are the best for admitting quality sunlight during all seasons of the year.