If you work in an office that doesn’t have very many windows, you may start to feel trapped and claustrophobic. Being under harsh artificial light all day can hurt your eyes, especially if you’re reading a lot of small print or trying to judge colours or designs. That’s why many office designers are working to bring more natural light into the offices they design. It’s not just aesthetically pleasing to be able to look outside, either. Several studies have shown that natural light has a number of different benefits for employees.
Natural light has a number of different health benefits. First, humans need to be exposed to the sun in order for the skin to create vitamin D. People who don’t spend much time outdoors and who don’t take vitamin D supplements may be deficient in this important vitamin. Allowing some outdoor light into the office, even light that’s filtered through a window, can help the body with this important process.
Another reason natural light is important is that studies have shown that employees who work in an office with windows actually get more sleep at night than those who work in spaces that get no or very little natural light. On average, workers who work near windows get 46 more minutes of sleep than those who do not.
It Makes People More Productive
Natural lighting can have a beneficial effect on the office environment in the area of productivity as well. As mentioned above, working under some artificial lights can take its toll on the eyes, leading to fatigue and eye strain. It also tends to distort some colours if the light is too warm or too harsh. Letting some natural light into the office can help reduce these issues and make it easier on your employees.
It Saves Energy
If you have a lot of natural light coming into your office, you don’t need to install as many light fixtures. This will help you save some money on your energy bill every month. While it may not be a huge savings, it does add up over time.
How to Bring More Natural Light into an Office
There are a few different things you can do to bring more natural lighting into your office. Since you probably can’t simply take out half the wall and put in windows, you do have to get creative. One thing you can do is replace some of the completely opaque partitions, doors, and interior walls with glass to let natural light travel as far as it can. For those areas that still require privacy, you can use frosted glass that lets light through but doesn’t allow people to see in.
Another thing to consider is your colour scheme. Using white paint on the walls actually helps to reflect some light into the rest of the office, brightening it up a bit. You can also add a few strategically placed mirrors to reflect sunlight into the darker parts of the office.