Staying too long in the office under artificial light may be taking a toll on your employees’ physical and mental health.
Evidence suggests, poor office lighting can affect a person’s mood so severely – it may even be the reason they feel gloomy and sluggish at work.
Having sunlight to brighten up the workplace, however, can lead to higher engagement and satisfaction among employees, according to a study from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Southern California.
The researchers cited workers from Canada Lands - and a study conducted by View Inc - who began experiencing a more positive mood and fewer instances of headaches, eye strain, and sleepiness in the office after their employer renovated their workspace and installed 'smart' windows.
While four in five employees said they had less eye strain and decreased bouts of headaches, a greater number (91%) also reported being able to fight off drowsiness because they had access to natural light.
Spending just 15 minutes basking in natural light – even during the winter months when sunlight is limited – may be enough to induce the release of the “happy hormones” called endorphins, said Dr. Pragya Agarwal, a mental health advocate, in an article on Forbes.
More people today are also realising the power of natural light in helping them stay healthy and happy. In a 2018 poll by the Harvard Business Review, more than 1,600 respondents ranked having access to natural light and an outdoor view as their most preferred office perk.
The HBR survey reflected similar results as the Canada Lands study: nearly half of employees (47%) said they felt tired and more than two in five (43%) felt gloomy due to a lack of natural light in their workspace.