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Leveraging Natural Light To Build Productivity In The Workplace

More and more businesses are embracing the concept that the environment in which employees work has a significant impact on productivity and efficiency.

Regardless of the industry or occupation, the settings that surround workforces can act as a major catalyst to their overall success.

This is especially evident when it comes to the benefits of natural light. By designing workspaces that are exposed to an abundance of natural light, employees are provided with a more welcoming, calm, and pleasurable working environment.

When natural light is utilised effectively, the mental and physical wellbeing of team members will improve as their workplace evokes happiness and satisfaction. Employee work rates can also increase.

For those interested in incorporating natural light within their own working environment, the MWA team are on hand to share their experience in designing bespoke projects that meet with the clients’ brief, no matter how unique the brief may be.

Take advantage of the layout

First and foremost, most workforces spend the majority of their time indoors. Therefore, it is crucial to identify how best to make use of the natural light by strategically designing the layout. Depending on the function of the building, this could be wide ranging.

From the MWA team’s experience, natural lighting benefits areas that are frequently used, whether this is employee office spaces, social areas for lunchtime gatherings or concentrated on a buildings’ entrances and exits.

It is also important to consider the differences between the morning and afternoon lighting. Whether its windows, doors, open office space or a mezzanine, plan accordingly to ensure the daily hours of natural light are fully taken advantage of.

Taking into consideration that the positioning of the sun alters throughout the day, the MWA team can utilise Revit software to demonstrate to the clients the different times of days, weeks and even months, that natural lighting will impact on a building both internally and externally.

Further measures also need to be reviewed to avoid the adverse effects that exposure to high levels of sunlight can have, especially from south facing elevations. Risks such as overheating and discomfort in the workplace need to be avoided at all costs.

By taking a bespoke approach to the design of the building, the MWA team can create a layout that is capable of manipulating the sunlight when its needed but also deflect its power to prevent it from hindering productivity levels.

Interior décor

The more open a space is, the more the natural light can flow through. That being said, workplaces can further leverage natural light through the tactical choice of colour schemes. Lighter colours on walls and corridors can reflect the bright light much more effectively than a darker palette.

As this environment begins to become calmer and more welcoming, employees can also benefit from the introduction of plants in the workplace. With sunlight flowing freely through the building, the perfect habitat for plants to thrive has been created.

As employees spend the majority of their time indoors, the varied colour of plant life will only be enhanced by the natural lighting, and the varied scents that they give off will only make employees’ workplace experience much more enjoyable.

Productivity

The main purpose of exposing more workplaces to natural light is the positive impact it has on any workforce.

It is human nature to become more aware and alert in a well-lit and open environment, which then leads to increases in productivity. Exposing employees to sufficient lighting as soon as they enter the workplace will make them feel more energetic and prepared for the day ahead.

Mental health

As the MWA team knows all too well, workplaces can often become a hive of stress, which can lead to determinantal effects to the health and wellbeing of employees. This can hamper creative thinking and critical learning, whilst also making it more difficult for workers to keep their focus for long periods of time.

However, when situated in a peaceful, relaxing environment, employees are able to efficiently compose themselves despite workload pressures.

Physical health

As well as the mental well-being of the workforce, natural light can also improve their physical health too.

Artificial lighting can often lead to people suffering from migraines, headaches, and eye strain, which will all lead to a drop-in productivity. Additionally, spending a significant amount of time indoors can result in a Vitamin D deficiency.

Combining these elements will result in work rate declines, increased number of sick days and an overall rise in job dissatisfaction.

Exposing more employees to natural light for longer periods of time will help them elude these problematic issues and in turn, support in improving their health whilst becoming more productive.

Final thoughts

Introducing more natural lighting is beneficial for employers and employees and can help to develop a happy, healthy and productive work environment. Want help creating a vibrant and bright workspace, contact us to find out how we can deliver natural lighting solutions that meet your brief and budget.

 

It is crucial to identify how best to make use of the natural light by strategically designing the layout of our working environments.

Marcus Walsh

Director