Posted by Allyson Miller on June 28, 2017

You guys, this is why natural light matters in a workplace


Stop the timeless workplace fight  over who gets the desk by the window—give it to everyone. 

Nothing liquefies brains and zaps creativity more than fluorescent lights. Almost like a bug being fired by an "electrical discharge insect control system," fluorescent lights do the same thing to your brain. 

And with so many benefits packed into a double-panned window, how does it feel working in a windowless environment? Not good, my friends, not good. 

So change it. 

Research shows a strong connection between daylight exposure in the workplace and a worker's sleep, activity, and quality of life. 

From colleges to health organizations, natural light in the workplace is becoming the top subject on everyone's radar.  And no surprise, the perks they are finding with it show a real improvement to one's physical and mental well-being. 

Natural light benefits summary by Cohere
Natural light benefits summary by Cohere. 

Phyllis Zee, M.D. and a Northwestern Medicine neurologist and sleep specialist has studied the affect natural light has on a person's health. Her findings are, "There is increasing evidence that exposure to light, during the day --particularly in the morning -- is beneficial to your health via its effects on mood, alertness and metabolism."

She also says, "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.” 

Natural light in the workplace isn't just about the potential to save energy, but also about the effect it has on the occupant's health. Everything from your mood to your circadian rhythm (your internal clock), is affected by natural light.

It's no wonder that those sitting near the window are happier–and it's not just because they get to distract themselves by people watching—daylight promotes a healthy Vitamin D level. Natural light also helps you to become more creative, sleep longer, and feel healthier overall. 

Of course, most business-advice experts would tell you to move your desk to sit close to a window...but that doesn't work for every office situation, now does it? An entire room of cubicles  can't be positioned next to a window.  And the idea of constantly rotating people from desk to desk just seems like a hassle.

So move the window...up! 

We, at VELUX, support a healthy work environment. And we understand the constraints offices have on who gets the window seat. Naturally, that's why we suggest looking up. 

A skylight, whether it's venting or fixed, can allow for everyone to have a view of the outside world, as well as sunlight that pours through at different times throughout the day. And installing skylights is easier than redesigning office spaces or creating a rotating desk schedule. 

So before you design or even redesign an office, think about adding in skylights to help give more natural light to its occupants.