Everybody loves a view through a clean, bright window, and now research shows that clean windows which let in plenty of natural light are more than simply a perk of the job – they can be a vital factor in improving employee productivity and well-being in the office and beyond. Research by the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program at Northwestern University in Chicago found that workers in offices with access to natural light from windows received 173 percent more exposure to white light during the working day compared to those without windows. They reported a better quality of life and fewer physical problems. They even slept longer at night and functioned better overall during the day. Here we discuss how natural light boosts productivity.
This is because like almost all living things, our bodies run on 24-hour cycles known as circadian rhythms. These rhythms govern various biological, mental and behavioural patterns within us, such as when we feel sleepy or feel most alert, and these rhythms are driven by light and darkness.
Dirty windows block out valuable natural light
This means that sitting in a windowless room or an office with dirty windows reduces our access to natural light, disturbing the body’s natural changes and leading to a loss of sleep at night and poorer concentration during the day. Attempts by companies to save money by eschewing regular office window cleaning can lead to expenses elsewhere, as even windows that look clean to the naked eye can be covered in a layer of dirt that blocks out valuable natural light and increases the amount of expensive, artificial electric lighting required to work comfortably inside an office.
Clean windows maximise the amount of natural light that enters an environment, making office window cleaning a vital service for companies which value the well-being of their employees and want their productivity to increase.
Effects of daylight “remarkable”
The Northwest University researchers said the results showing the vast impact daylight had on office workers were “remarkable” and could affect the future of office design.
“The extent to which daylight exposure impacts office workers is remarkable,” said co-author of the study, Ivy Cheung. “Day-shift office workers’ quality of life and sleep may be improved via emphasis on light exposure and lighting levels in current offices as well as in the design of future offices.”
Natural light boosts productivity – where to find out more
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