As an entrepreneur, employee or executive, you may have thought deeply about the location of your office space, the size and style of said space as well as how many parking spaces would be available. But what about how much light streams into your work environment? Spending the majority of your waking hours in a well-lit space is key to healthier employees, greater work productivity and winning over potential clients.
According to a study at Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, office workers who had more opportunity to soak in natural light not only had a better quality of life but also were more physically active and slept longer – and better – each night compared to workers who were not so fortunate to have the sunlight streaming in their surroundings. And having employees that are getting the rest they need each night also offers a greater potential for use of less sick days, which leads to more days worked and better business results each year.
One way to set yourself and employees up for success is to provide the opportunity to be exposed to natural light throughout the work day. If you’re in the process of looking for new office space or considering the practicality of your current setup, now is the time to assess you and your employee’s light intake by asking the following questions:
- How many windows are in your office space?
- Are there any skylights?
- Does the conference room have natural light?
- How about your lobby? How many windows are there?
- Are your hallways recipients of window light?
Does each employee work near a window or have a window in his or her office?
Mohamed Boubekri, co-lead author and associate professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, recommends each workstation be within 20 to 25 feet of the peripheral walls containing the windows.
In addition to the added benefits of natural light, beautiful views through your office windows can create a myriad of benefits as well. Have you ever tried brainstorming in a dimly lit fluorescent room with builder beige walls? Now take the same scenario and add a great window, offering a bright glimpse into the outside – the sights, movement and colors all coming into play. Which do you think provides a better creative environment? Definitely the room with a view.
Whether you work in an office park, a bustling metropolis or a quiet town, they each offer perspective on life that is more full-circle than merely being indoors, thinking and looking at only things that are inside.
Clients can also be persuaded and impressed by the views from your office space. Escorting them into the conference room that overlooks the busy downtown city or beautiful scenic lake can greatly influence their desire to work with your team. Creating a space where business meetings and drop-by visits from potential investors is met with awe and prestige puts the advantage in your court.