Creating a lighter, brighter workplace
03 September 2018
Workplace productivity and employee satisfaction are intrinsically linked. If we are happy at work, we work harder. For architects planning office projects, it’s important to factor in employee satisfaction by creating a building that enhances natural light, as light levels are linked to happiness.
Studies compared offices without windows to those with them, discovering that those with windows received 173% more exposure to white light, which led to 46 minutes of extra sleep. Those without natural light had poorer outcomes in sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction.
Maximising the amount of natural light not only improves the quality of employee sleep, it also improves a worker’s perception of their workspace. Studies in “The Responsible Workplace” found that windows were the number one determinant in employee satisfaction with a building.
To put it simply, improving access to natural light within a building creates a happier, healthier working environment. Here’s how to improve levels of light with some key considerations.
Large Feature Windows
Many office spaces are created by renovating older traditional buildings, where window frames are often based on older heritage styles. Planning a large feature window to replace older styles or as a new addition to a building can create a central point of light that can flood an office with natural light. The interior can then be planned around this window, ensuring desks are optimally placed to see the benefit of this light.
Some modern offices can incorporate sky lights or roof lanterns to create an even more impressive flood of natural light. These are typically placed over hallways, but in the case of smaller offices they can also be placed directly above work areas. With slimline profiles and the ability to be created fully bespoke to your requirements, roof lanterns may be the perfect way to drastically improve natural light.
Internal Glass Dividers
In offices, one of the fastest ways to reduce natural light is to incorporate lots of walls. Open place office spaces are increasingly common – but many employees need their own personal office unit or meeting room. Consider using internal glass dividers as a substitute for walls in order to enhance natural light ingress throughout a building no matter how many internal rooms are built.
Many modern offices incorporate curved designs. Instead of compromising on windows in those corners, install curved windows that can match any building shape – allowing light to reach even the most creatively-designed corners in a building.
Ultimately, creating opportunities for more natural light to enter office spaces results in a lighter, brighter workplace that employees will enjoy working in. By incorporating even one or two of our suggestions, you can turn any modern or heritage building into a better lit, healthier environment.