A well-designed workplace is ultimately one that benefits employee wellness, satisfaction and productivity. In the pursuit of these effects, many offices solely focus on incorporating a slew of high-level amenity offerings. But the truth about what employees want most in their office? It’s simple: natural light.
A Sunny Disposition
Natural light is one of the most valued attributes of a workplace — but while 75.8% of employees state that natural light is important to them, only 56.9% are satisfied with the current level of light in their workplace.
Though it may seem a basic amenity, the inclusion of sunlight in our daily routine can greatly alter not only the course of our workday, but our long-term performance both at and away from the office. Research shows that exposure to natural light can help improve employee productivity levels by as much as 20%, and improve well-being and creativity by 15%. Results from a recent study also concluded that there is a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and employees’ sleep, activity and quality of life.
A Good Night’s Sleep, A Better Day Tomorrow
How does light play such a powerful role in our health and disposition? The human body needs light to regulate our circadian rhythm, the natural and internal process that regulates our sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, body temperature and other bodily functions. The cycle runs on a 24-hour clock, responding to the external stimuli of light and darkness within our environment to mediate these processes.
In a well-designed workplace, employees experience ample sunlight that allows their circadian rhythm to remain in balance, therefore allowing them to sleep soundly at night and wake well-rested and refreshed. The effects of a good night’s sleep are countless, but can include many factors that greatly improve workplace performance by spurring creativity, improving memory and even improving mood.
At Irvine Company in Chicago, all three of our best-in-class office buildings employ glass curtain walls in their lobbies along with organically-lit, spacious workspaces that keep the building awash in natural light.