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How Natural Light in the Office Encourages Productivity

by Francesca Coleman Carr

How Natural Light in the Office Encourages Productivity

Your office should be a space where employees can be productive and enjoy the benefits of natural light throughout the day. Now, it’s common knowledge that sometimes the weather isn’t on your side and the office looks dark and gloomy because outside is cloudy and grey. However, it’s important your office is making the most of the natural light that is available so that your employees are more productive, healthier, and happier.

Let’s take a look at how more natural light can be let into the office space.


A Few of the Facts

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A study by Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois has reported that employees working in offices with plenty of natural light enjoy a good night’s sleep, more physical activity, and a better quality of life compared to those with less light exposure. The study highlights the importance of natural light for us all, but particularly for those working day-in-and-day-out in an office environment.

The study was reported in the Clinical Sleep Medicine Journal and the author, Phyllis Zee (a medicine neurologist and sleep specialist) stated that: “Workers are a group at risk because they are typically indoors often without access to natural or even artificial bright light for the entire day […] The study results confirm that light during the natural daylight hours has powerful effects on health.”

So, how do you let more natural light into an office? Read on to find out.


Position the Desks Correctly

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One of the simplest ways you can help employees enjoy the natural light in your office is by ensuring all workstations are within 20 to 25 feet of the windows. If this is not possible due to the space, why not encourage a hot desking system so that every employee gets at least one day a week next to a window?


Decorate with Large Mirrors

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Nobody likes working in an office with blank walls, it’s very uninspiring! So, why not brighten the place up a bit (literally) by hanging some mirrors. Positioning mirrors around the walls is a fantastic way to bring in more natural light and is both practical and stylish. A well-placed mirror can increase the natural light, open up a small space, and add a touch of style.


Choose Your Décor Carefully

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Colours can have a significant effect on the brightness of your office space. There are certain colours which are lighter than others and can help reflect the light more effectively. If you want to increase the brightness in your office select soft colour tones such as blues, greens, off-white and yellows. Another great tip is to paint the moldings in a lighter colour than your walls. It may surprise you how much of a difference such a small change can make!


Polished Flooring

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The colour and standard of your flooring can play a significant part in lighting up a dark room. However, changing the floor coverings may not be an option. So, why not paint your floorboards white to help them reflect light. Alternatively, you could strip back the carpets completely and expose the concrete underneath. Polished concrete flooring is becoming increasingly popular and does an excellent job at reflecting light and making a space look bigger and brighter.


Make Use of Daylight Sensors

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Daylight sensors are a fantastic way to monitor the lighting inside your office to mirror the weather and lighting levels outside. Use daylight sensors to synchronise internal ambient and external lighting so that, when it comes to light levels in the office, the balance is always right.


Install Larger Windows

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It may be an obvious point, but the size of your windows can significantly affect the amount of natural light there is in your office. Installing larger windows, such as sash windows, can have a significant effect. What’s more, it’s a positive investment in your company and the health of your employees.


Let the Light in!

I hope you see how many ways there are to let more natural light into your office. And it’s easy to see how good lighting effects employees in a positive and mood-enhancing way, consequently contributing to people’s sense of well-being. Every office space should give a sense of good corporate value and the best way you can do that is by lighting up the space effectively. Because what else can enhance an environment as much as natural light can?

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