For years, researchers have been telling us about the importance of natural light and the detrimental impact of a windowless workspace, affecting mental and physical health, productivity and quality of sleep. We speak a lot about health and wellbeing at work to create happy and healthy workspaces, and lighting is a huge part of this.
At Unity, we love the fact that our offices and breakout spaces are flooded with natural light – it was one of the key features that attracted us to both buildings. Here are a few of the reasons why an office with lots of windows and daylight should be high up on your list:
Natural light helps to improve employee moods and is proven to reduce work-related stress by creating all kinds of chemical reactions to trigger happy hormones in the body. In the winter months, it’s not unusual to start and finish the working day in darkness, meaning that in an office with few or no windows, the only time employees will see daylight is if they take a lunch break outdoors. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is sometimes known as “winter depression” for the reason that the lack of sunlight causes a persistent low mood and can start to affect daily life. Sometimes, as little as 15 minutes of natural light is enough to release these endorphins and lift your mood – so if your office isn’t blessed with lots of big windows, make sure you get outside during your lunch breaks.
Daylight supports the regulation of Vitamin D, serotonin and melatonin which promotes healthy eye development. Artificial lighting can cause eye strain, headaches and tiredness – all of which have a negative impact on productivity at work. Not only that, but a lack of vitamin D in the body can create problems for both our immune and cardiovascular systems meaning we become easy targets for office gems and will pick up illnesses more easily.
One study found that spaces with both daylight and views of greenery can inspire creativity and greater learning. The connection with natural elements and the ability for that to help reduce employee stress and anxiety means that there will be a direct positive impact in businesses driven by often high-pressure targets and deadlines. Studies also suggest that workers in offices with plenty of light experience a better quality of sleep each night – this, of course, has an impact on both mental and physical health as well as your ability to be productive at work, because we all know how hard it is to function and get through the day when we’re tired!
If you’re on the lookout for your next office move, get in touch! We’d love to help you find your next space, one filled with all the natural light you could wish for.
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