04 Oct The benefits of maximising natural light in your office
Interestingly, artificial lighting was once thought to be more beneficial for concentration and eye health. Recent studies have suggested, however, that exposure to natural lighting is actually much better for our mental and physiological health – and artificial lighting should simply be used to compensate for a lack in daylight.
It only makes sense that natural lighting is better for our health, since as humans, we’re biologically programmed to thrive amongst nature. Exposure to it has also shown to be beneficial within the workplace, creating happier and more productive employees – so it’s definitely worth maximising daylight in your office if you haven’t already. This could be done by perhaps moving desks closer to windows, or encouraging outdoor working; but how, exactly, can your employees benefit from increased exposure to natural light?
Supports the circadian rhythm
It’s surprising how a lack of sleep can affect daily performance. It’s recommended that adults receive seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but many people struggle to achieve more than six. It’s thought that the rise in the use of technology has contributed to this, since the blue light emitted from screens inhibits the production of melatonin. This hormone is integral to achieving a good night’s sleep, and it’s naturally produced in our bodies when darkness falls.
Natural light changes throughout the day in colour and intensity, and it’s these changes that create feelings of alertness or tiredness within our bodies. Artificial lighting and blue light can disrupt this natural rhythm, confusing our sleep-wake cycle and making it more difficult for us to achieve an undisturbed, eight-hour long sleep. That’s why it’s important for us to gain sufficient exposure to natural light – it not only maintains a healthy circadian rhythm, but also improves productivity in the workplace.
Prevents eye strain and headaches
When artificial and natural light are combined, the setting can become too bright for indoor workers, causing eye strain and potential eye damage. As a general rule of thumb, in order to create optimal working conditions, natural lighting should be used as the primary light source, with artificial lighting simply acting as a support for darker areas. Reactive artificial lighting is a great solution, adapting to its surrounding external light sources.
Improved mental and physiological health
Exposure to natural daylight and sunlight is widely known as a primary source of vitamin D, helping the body absorb calcium and maintain strong bones. It also helps to stave off feelings of depression, anxiety and stress, making for an overall more satisfied, energised and productive workforce.
Keeps energy costs down
In addition to the benefits to health and wellbeing, maximising natural light also reduces the need for artificial lighting, ultimately helping to keep energy bills at a lower cost. This is not only beneficial to the business, but it’s also great for the environment, reducing the production of light pollution – an issue that’s becoming particularly more prevalent in our current climate.
If you’d like to discuss in more detail about how cutting down on artificial lighting can boost your employees’ productivity, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.